The Case Against Artificial Sweeteners….

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

With all the dire health effects associated with refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), many wonder what, if anything, is actually safe to use to sweeten your foods and beverages.

It’s certainly a good question. You do have to be cautious when choosing an alternative, as many sweeteners that are widely regarded as “healthy” are, in reality, anything but. A previous National Geographic article1 set out to compare eight different sugar substitutes, which fall into four general categories:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Sugar alcohols
  • Natural sweeteners
  • Dietary supplements

Sadly lacking from their review are any notations about adverse health effects of many of the sugar substitutes tested.

Despite copious scientific evidence of harm, artificial sweeteners, for example, are promoted in the featured article, and by “experts” in general, as safe because they “pass through your body undigested.” Needless to say, safety concerns will be front and center in this article.

The Case Against Artificial Sweeteners

Sweetener lesson 101: Avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague. While the mechanisms of harm may differ, they’re all harmful in one way or another. This includes aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet’N Low), acesulfame potassium, neotame, and others.

Twenty years ago I wasn’t sure, but now there’s little doubt in my mind  that artificial sweeteners can be far worse for you than sugar and fructose, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to back up that conclusion. In fact, there’s enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book — which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception.

Aspartame is perhaps the most dangerous of the bunch. At least it’s one of the most widely used and has the most reports of adverse effects. There are also hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating its harmful effects.

This is why it’s so frustrating to see big companies like Coca-Cola Company purposely deceive you on this issue, which is exactly what they’re currently doing with their “public service” announcement-type ads, in which they “affirm” aspartame’s safety and benefits.

Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson issued the following statement in response to Coca-Cola’s new ad:2

“Aspartame has been found to cause cancer3leukemia, lymphoma, and other tumors—in laboratory animals, and it shouldn’t be in the food supply. We certainly want Coca-Cola to shift its product mix toward lower- and no-calorie drinks, but aspartame’s reputation isn’t worth rehabilitating with this propaganda campaign.

The company would be better off phasing out its use of aspartame and accelerating its research into safer, natural sweeteners such as those extracted from the stevia plant.”

Don’t Fall for Coca-Cola’s Deceptive “Public Announcement” Ads

Besides pulling the wool over your eyes with regards to the lack of overall safety of aspartame, I think the FTC would be warranted to sue Coke and the other diet soda manufacturers for fraudulent advertising, seeing how:

    1. There’s no scientific evidence showing that the use of diet sodas actually lead to weight loss.

On the contrary, studies have repeatedly shown that artificial sweeteners cause greater weight gain than regular sugar.4 Studies have also repeatedly linked artificial sweeteners with increased hunger. For example, one study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior in 19885 found that intense (no- or low-calorie) sweeteners can produce significant changes in appetite. Of the three sweeteners tested, aspartame produced the most pronounced effects.

    1. Scientific evidence shows that aspartame actually worsens insulin sensitivity to a greater degree than sugar.

This is quite the blow for diabetics who obediently follow the recommendation to switch to diet sodas to manage their condition. Unfortunately, in large part due to misleading and deceptive advertising, many doctors and registered nutritionists are still under the illusion that artificial sweeteners are a safe and effective alternative for their diabetic patients.

Artificial sweeteners also appear to cause many of the same health effects associated with high sugar consumption.  Most recently, a report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism6 highlighted the fact that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, including excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.7, 8 According to the authors:

“This paper… considers the hypothesis that consuming sweet-tasting but noncaloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages interferes with learned responses that normally contribute to glucose and energy homeostasis. Because of this interference, frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements.”

So the very reason anyone would consider using diet instead of sugared sweeteners has no basis in fact. Anyone using them would get the same problems as using regular sugar and expose themselves to the well documented risks of artificial sweeteners.

Be Critical of “All Natural” Sweetener Claims

With artificial sweeteners are out of the picture, let’s look at some all-natural sweeteners. Natural sweeteners such as honey and agave may seem like a healthier choice, but not only are they loaded with fructose, many are also highly processed. In that regard, you’re not gaining a thing. The health effects will be the same, since it’s the fructose that causes the harm.

Agave syrup can even be considered worse than HFCS because it has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener, ranging from 70 to 97 percent depending on the brand. HFCS, in comparison, averages 55 percent fructose. What’s worse, most agave “nectar” or agave “syrup” is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup, devoid of virtually all nutrient value.

Honey is also high in fructose, averaging around 53 percent, but contrary to agave it is completely natural in its raw form, and has many health benefits when used in moderation. Keep in mind you’re not likely to find high quality raw honey in your local grocery store. Most of the commercial Grade A honey is highly processed and of poor quality. All in all, it’s important to realize that regardless of the source (be it HFCS, honey or agave), refined fructose:

  • Tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns off your body’s appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.
  • Activates a key enzyme that causes cells to store fat; this is the so-called “fat switch” revealed in Dr. Richard Johnson’s book by the same name.
  • Rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (“beer belly”), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure—i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
  • Is broken down in your liver just like alcohol, and produces many of the side effects of chronic alcohol use, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Interestingly enough, research has shown that soft drinks increase your risk of NAFLD independently of metabolic syndrome9.
  • Over time leads to insulin resistance, which is not only an underlying factor of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also many cancers.

What About Sugar Alcohols?

Sugar alcohols can be identified by the commonality of “ol” at the end of their name, such as xylitol glucitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol, and lactitol. They’re not as sweet as sugar, and they do contain fewer calories, but they’re not calorie-free. So don’t get confused by the “sugar-free” label on foods containing these sweeteners. As with all foods, you need to carefully read the food labels for calorie and carbohydrate content, regardless of any claims that the food is sugar-free or low-sugar.

One reason that sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar is because they’re not completely absorbed into your body. Because of this, eating too many foods containing sugar alcohols can lead to abdominal gas and diarrhea. It’s also worth noting that maltitol, a commonly used sugar alcohol, spikes blood sugar almost as much as a starchy new potato. Xylitol, in comparison, does not have a great effect on your blood sugar, so from that perspective may be a better choice.

So, in moderation, some sugar alcohols can be a better choice than highly refined sugar, fructose or artificial sweeteners. Of the various sugar alcohols, xylitol is one of the best. When it is pure, the potential side effects are minimal, and it actually comes with some benefits such as fighting tooth decay. All in all, I would say that xylitol is reasonably safe, and potentially even a mildly beneficial sweetener. (As a side note, xylitol is toxic to dogs and some other animals, so be sure to keep it out of reach of your family pets.)

Three of the Safest Sugar-Alternatives

Two of the best sugar substitutes are from the plant kingdom: Stevia and Lo Han Guo (also spelled Luo Han Kuo). Stevia, a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, is sold as a supplement. It’s completely safe in its natural form and can be used to sweeten most dishes and drinks.

Keep in mind that the same cannot be said for the sugar substitute Truvia, which makes use of only certain active ingredients and not the entire plant. Rebaudioside A is the agent that provides most of the sweet taste of the plant. Usually it’s the synergistic effect of all the agents in the plant that provide the overall health effect, which oftentimes includes “built-in protection” against potentially damaging effects, but what the FDA has approved as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) are just a couple of the active ingredients, including rebaudioside A used in Truvia.

In one toxicology review,10 the researchers point out that stevioside compounds and rebaudioside A are metabolized at different rates, making it impossible to assess the risk of rebaudioside A from toxicity assessments of stevioside (which has been used as food and medicine in Japan and South America for decades or longer). Additionally, in a human metabolism study, stevioside and rebaudioside A had different pharmacokinetic results. In layman’s terms, that means that your body reacts differently to the two compounds; each compound is metabolized differently and remains in your body for different lengths of time.

Truvia may turn out to be a very good substitute to sugar, but I’d have to see more details before giving it an enthusiastic thumbs-up – for the same reason the FDA uses as the basis for their refusal to consider Stevia GRAS: there’s just not enough evidence to prove its safety. Lo Han Kuo is another natural sweetener similar to Stevia, but it’s a bit more expensive and harder to find. In China, the Lo Han fruit has been used as a sweetener for centuries, and it’s about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It received FDA GRAS status in 2009.

A third alternative is to use pure glucose. You can buy pure glucose (dextrose) for about $5-7 per pound. It is only 70 percent as sweet as sucrose, so you’ll end up using a bit more of it for the same amount of sweetness, making it slightly more expensive than regular sugar—but still well worth it for your health as it does not contain any fructose whatsoever. Contrary to fructose, glucose can be used directly by every cell in your body and as such is a far safer sugar alternative.

Consider Dampening Your Sweet-Tooth…

Keep in mind though that if you have insulin issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you’re overweight, you’d be best to avoid all sweeteners, including Stevia, Lo Han and dextrose, since any sweetener can decrease your insulin sensitivity. (Most important of all, remember that this goes for artificial sweeteners too!) If you’re having trouble weaning yourself off sweet foods and beverages, try Turbo Tapping. It’s a clever use of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), specifically designed to resolve many aspects of an addiction in a concentrated period of time.

Tell Coke They’re a Joke!

Obesity and related metabolic diseases are serious public health problems in the United States, and you are being sorely misled by companies pretending to have a solution that, in reality, only worsen the problem. I strongly urge you to let the Coca-Cola Company know how you feel by telling them to stop their deceptive marketing of soda products. Especially their fake “public announcement” ads for aspartame.

Join me in taking a stand against false advertising and let your voice be heard. If you’re on twitter, send a tweet to #CokeCEO to let the Coca-Cola Company know you are not happy with their deceptive advertising. If you’re on Facebook, please share your thoughts with them on their Facebook Page. Please also email the Coca-Cola Company to let them know how you feel!

Raw food part 2..

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

This is my fourth/fifth day of raw food, so far I’ve been limiting my intake of processed foods to one meal per day, the others being comprised of fruits and veggies blended to make a green smoothie.

Each day so far I’ve been feeling great upon waking and for the early part of the day. When I first wake which tends to be around 6.3o am I’m starting with a couple of pint glasses of warm lemon water before I get out of bed, Thermos is wonderful.

Next I’m having a couple of glasses of water with Sole…..So-lay which is made from Himalayan crystal’s.

My first shake consists of Spinach, Kale, Carrot, Tomato’s and Apple, doesn’t sound good but actually tastes fine.

My lunch shake is similar but a higher content of spinach and kale.

Now I mentioned ealier that I was feeling really good for the first half of the day, but inexplicably I’ve felt quite weak from mid afternoon for a few hours. My thoughts have revolved around limited water and the temperature. When my limited brain function thought this I rectified this and within an hour felt a lot better.

I’ve had a HBOT this morning so I limit my water knowing when I’m in the chamber, I’m in for 90 mins so there is no chance of a loo break.

But all in all I’m optimistic about the therapy and diet…

Next week will be interesting as I’m going to have 19 out of 21 meals will be raw food, wish me luck..


Raw food..

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

Over the years I’ve come across a lot of people telling me they were “Raw foodist’s” so it’s not new to me, however working as I did for Dr. Hal Huggins for three and a half years I was able to expand my knowledge of nutrition and disease’s in a way very few people can.

I studied and read Huggins, Levy and many other well respected and knowledable experts in this field, my opinions were based on the incredible work done by these people and I believe now I have a good understanding of health in general.

However the problems and health issue’s I’ve been struggling with for fourteen years are frustrating and very limiting to me, I’ve had the dental revision by one of the best dentist’s in the world, I’ve been through body chemistry rebalancing and yes they have enabled me to continue with life. So although I’ve kept my MS at bay to a certain extent, it’s slowly becoming more and more debilitating as the years roll on.

So a few days ago I started researchin the raw food diet, I was quite amazed at the information I was reading and even more so watching video testimonials from MS sufferers who had experience quite amazing changes by eliminating all processed food. I decided on Sunday  (3 days ago) that I would make the changes necessary to do this and see for myself if this is the best way to go.

I firmly believe that you can do anything you want if you truly want to enough, yes I’ll miss some foods initially but if only takes a matter of weeks for the body to become totally accustomed to differrent foods.

At the end of the day I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. This first week I’m two meals raw each day then next week I’ll only have processed food in the evening on three days then the third week will be all raw food all week.

In two days since I’ve started I’ve noticed suble improvements so physically I’m feeling good and mentally feeling so optimistic.

I’ll update this blog several times each week or more.


It makes you wonder..

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

I ask this in the face of growing evidence that irrefutably proves that genetically engineered Roundup-resistant alfalfa is extremely dangerous to life and that includes all life, plant, animal and human that it is still passed by government. So the lobbyist’s doling out money to coerce the people who have been elected to do the best they can for we the people are neither us nor ornament at doing their jobs.

All they are interested in is lining their own pockets…

Despite a strong and vocal opposition, genetically engineered (GE) Roundup-resistant alfalfa was approved in late 2011. At the time, many environmental and organic experts spoke out against it, warning that its approval could be devastating not just for the environment in general, but also for conventional alfalfa growers, and organic farmers in particular.

This includes organic animal products, as dried alfalfa is the hay they’re typically fed during winter months.

Phil Bereano, a co-founder of AGRA watch, argued that by deregulating the planting of GE alfalfa, the USDA was in direct contravention to its obligations under law and court decisions.

A 2007 trial judge had already found that alfalfa farmers had established a reasonable probability that their conventional alfalfa crops would be contaminated with the engineered Roundup Ready gene if deregulation occurred.

Toxicology and plant pathology expert Dr. Don Huber also pointed out that once you insert new genes into a perennial insect-pollinated plant like alfalfa, there’s no way to prevent cross-fertilization and contamination, and it cannot be eliminated once it’s distributed throughout an area.

Of course, the possibility of cross-contamination between GE alfalfa and non-GE crops was downplayed as insignificant. But it didn’t even take two years for this possibility to rear its ugly head.

Washington State Testing Alfalfa Crops for GMO Contamination

On September 11, the Baltimore Sun1 broke the news that Washington State agriculture officials were alerted that GMO contamination was confirmed after a farmer’s hay was rejected for export.

Alfalfa is the fourth-largest crop in the US and a staple feed for livestock—including organically-raised livestock—so contamination is not to be taken lightly. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 17 million acres of alfalfa were grown last year, worth about $8 billion. A total of $1.25 billion-worth of hay, including alfalfa, was exported.

As reported by the featured article:2

“If it is confirmed that the alfalfa in question was genetically modified, it could have broad ramifications, said Hector Castro, spokesman at the Washington State Department of Agriculture.  “It’s a sensitive issue,” Castro said.

Biotech alfalfa is approved for commercial production in the United States. But many foreign and domestic buyers require that supplies not be genetically modified, and the possible presence of GMO modified alfalfa in export supplies could result in lost sales for US farmers.

… ACX Pacific – a major exporter of alfalfa and other hay off the Pacific Northwest to countries that include Japan, Korea, China and parts of the Middle East – will not accept any GMO because so many foreign buyers are so opposed to it.

And domestic organic dairy farmers have said that any contamination of the hay they feed their animals could hurt their sales. “This is terribly serious,” said Washington state senator Maralyn Chase, a Democrat who fears alfalfa exports could be lost if it is proven that GMO alfalfa has mixed in with conventional supplies.”

Washington State Readies for GMO Labeling Vote

The news of potential contamination couldn’t come at a more crucial time as Washington State readies to vote on GMO labeling in November. Initiative 522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients.3

As in last year’s California Proposition 37 GMO labeling campaign, the opposition from industry is fierce. According to the Public Disclosure Commission,4 the “No On 522” campaign has already raised more than $11 million.  Monsanto leads the charge, having donated close to $4.8 million to the anti-labeling campaign, followed by Dupont and The Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Again, the success of this ballot initiative is dependent on public donations, so please, help us win this key GMO labeling battle and continue to build momentum for GMO labeling in other states by making a donation to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA).

Donate Today!

GE Glyphosate-Resistant Food Crops Promote Human Disease

One of the primary concerns about GE crops has to do with its resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. About 85 percent of all our genetically engineered plants are herbicide-tolerant—designed to tolerate very high levels of herbicides, glyphosate in particular. These are the so-called Roundup Ready crops, alfalfa included.

As a side note, glyphosate-resistant alfalfa was approved even though more than 93 percent of the alfalfa crop at the time was NOT being treated with herbicides. There really was no need to make it Roundup resistant in the first place.

The Oregoneans for Farm & Food Rights5 estimates that Roundup Ready alfalfa results in the application of another 200,000 pounds of Roundup annually by American farmers. Monsanto is truly the only winner in this scheme, boosting sales of Roundup and selling GE alfalfa seeds for twice the price as other proprietary seed varieties.6 The decision was also a “perfect” one if the intent is to eventually decimate organics, as contamination is inevitable—both of organic alfalfa crops and organic livestock.

The decision to promote the use of Roundup on what was basically an herbicide-free crop to begin with matters a great deal when it comes to human health.

Research reveals that glyphosate is unlike other conventional herbicides. Like many other herbicides it’s a mineral chelator. This means it immobilizes nutrients, making them physiologically unavailable for your body, or the body of an animal, in the case of livestock feed. But glyphosate is also patented as an antibiotic against a large number of organisms, and this is where it veers away from other agricultural chemicals. Like all antibiotics, it kills indiscriminately, so it also decimates critically beneficial soil bacteria, as well as animal – and human gut bacteria.

In fact, groundbreaking research by Dr. Seneff and Samsel reveals that your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm, as the microbes in your gut have the same pathway used by glyphosate to kill weeds and are decimated by the glyphosate!  So please recognize that virtually every GM food you eat will harm your precious gut bacteria.

Glyphosate was patented and introduced as an herbicide by Monsanto in 1974. Twenty two years later, in 1996, genetically modified Roundup Ready crops hit the market. Since then, there’s been a steep and steady uptick in the usage of Roundup, because you can apply it multiple times without damaging your crop. Making matters worse, they’re now also using glyphosate as a ripening agent—even for non-GMO crops. And, as just mentioned, they made alfalfa glyphosate-resistant even though the vast majority of alfalfa growers didn’t have the need for such a product in the first place.

Now, groundbreaking research suggests that glyphosate is probably the most harmful chronic toxin we’ve ever encountered, and may be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become so prevalent in Westernized societies. Dr. Seneff and Samsel’s research shows that two of the key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet are:

  1. Nutritional deficiencies, and
  2. Systemic toxicity

Glyphosate—Destroyer of Human Health and Biodiversity

Another important paper titled: Glyphosate: Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity,7 compiled by Rosemary Mason, MB, ChB, contains information from a global network of independent scientists, toxicologists, beekeepers, environmentalists, governments and more. In it, she presents evidence showing that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants, animals and humans, and that glyphosate residues have in fact been found in all three.

“Glyphosate is an endocrine-disruptor (as are many herbicides) it damages DNA and it is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer,” the paper states. “We present graphs from the US which correlate glyphosate application and the percentage of GE soy and corn crops to the incidence and prevalence of various diseases in those on a Western diet.

The Pearson’s correlation coefficients are very strong and highly significant for obesity, diabetes, autism, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, deaths from Parkinson’s, Senile Dementia and Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease and acute kidney failure. We present Cancer Research UK graphs of upward trends in cancer incidences between 1975 and 2009, which are in line with the US graphs. Other consequences are gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, depression, infertility, birth defects and other cancers.”

Statistics Expose Health Hazards of Glyphosate

Then there’s the papers published by former US Navy staff scientist Dr. Nancy Swanson. She has a Ph.D. in physics, holds five US patents and has authored more than 30 scientific papers and two books on women in science. Ten years ago, she became seriously ill, and in her journey to regain her health she turned to organic foods. Not surprisingly (for those in the know) her symptoms dramatically improved. This prompted her to start investigating genetically engineered foods.

She too has meticulously collected statistics on glyphosate usage and various diseases and conditions. The graph below illustrates the perfect match-up between the rise in glyphosate usage and incidence of autism for example. To access her published articles and reports, please visit Sustainable Pulse,8 a European website dedicated to exposing the hazards of genetically engineered foods.

According to Dr. Swanson:9

“Prevalence and incidence data show correlations between diseases of the organs and the increase in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the food supply, along with the increase in glyphosate-based herbicide applications. More and more studies have revealed carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting effects of Roundup at lower doses than those authorized for residues found in Genetically Modified Organisms.”

“The endocrine disrupting properties of glyphosate can lead to reproductive problems: infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and sexual development. Fetuses, infants and children are especially susceptible because they are continually experiencing growth and hormonal changes. For optimal growth and development, it is crucial that their hormonal system is functioning properly.

The endocrine disrupting properties also lead to neurological disorders (learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder). Those most susceptible are children and the elderly.”

The Case Against Coexistence of GMO and Non-GMO

In 2011, when the approval of genetically engineered alfalfa was still under discussion, there was quite a bit of talk about whether or not GMO crops could coexist with non-GMO crops. In the end, the White House directly intervened with the USDA and told them in no uncertain terms that they didn’t want any restrictions on Monsanto’s alfalfa, which made the notion of coexistence a moot point.

Anyone with any kind of understanding of how it works fully expected, and still expects, cross-pollination to occur10 as a matter of course. Honey bees can transfer pollen several miles. Birds can carry seed even farther… As plant pathologist Dr. Huber recently told me:

“We know how to get these genes in; we don’t know how to remove them. I don’t see any opportunity for coexistence with the current technology that we have because of that promiscuous nature of the genes. If you have a gene that is spread by pollen, like Roundup Ready alfalfa, it’s just a matter of time before those bees or the wind will transfer that particular pollen to every alfalfa crop that you’re going to grow. There’s a high enough probability that you’re going to see that genetic component in it.”

So what’s the answer? For starters, Americans need foods to be labeled, indicating whether or not a food contains genetically engineered ingredients. At that point, the market place will likely help shift farmers away from GE crops as more people will opt for non-GMO fare. But to get there, we need your help.

Join Us in Your Right to Know by Getting GMOs Labeled!

While  California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November by a very narrow margin, the  fight for GMO labeling is far from over. In the past few weeks, Connecticut and Maine  have passed GMO-labeling bills, and 20 other states have pending legislation to  label genetically engineered foods. So, now is the time to put the pedal to the  metal and get labeling across the country—something 64 other countries already  have.

I hope you will join us in this effort.

The field-of-play has now  moved to the state of Washington, where the people’s initiative 522, “The  People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” will require food  sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered  ingredients. Please  help us win this key GMO labeling battle and continue to build momentum for GMO  labeling in other states by making  a donation to the Organic Consumers  Association (OCA).

Donate Today!

Remember, as with CA  Prop. 37, they need support of people like YOU to succeed. Prop. 37 failed with  a very narrow margin simply because we didn’t have the funds to counter the  massive ad campaigns created by the No on 37 camp, led by Monsanto and other  major food companies. Let’s not allow Monsanto and its allies to confuse and  mislead the people of Washington and Vermont as they did in California. So  please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can.

  • No  matter where you live in the United States, please donate money to these  labeling efforts through the Organic Consumers Fund.
  • Sign  up to learn more about how you can get involved by visiting!
  • For  timely updates on issues relating to these and other labeling initiatives, please  join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or  follow them on Twitter.
  • Talk  to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the Washington  initiative.

Are we killing our kids…

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

The following post is about the horrible and ridiculous situation that now infests a lot of  countries around the world.

The US is the main culprit when it comes to allowing our children to constantly eat empty calories, or foods with no nutritional value whatsoever. Actually it’s worse than that it’s poisoning our kids and condeming them to a shorter and less rewarding life.

How are we doing this…simply by reading and watching and believing the lies constantly told through advertising. Not only allowing our kids to eat what they demand but believing the words recited from kids who have been completely brainwashed.

We constantly hear…Sugar is safe or sugar is sugar irrespective of where it comes from…Lies.

Calories are long as you restrict the amount or calories you eat you’ll be ok..Lies

People will eat foods that proudly proclaim Zero fat as being good for you…NO, it’s not the fat per se it’s the sugar and sugar substitutes.

The US started this but other countries have fallen into the trap, the UK, Brasil and Australia and just as guilty.

Be a parent to your kids not a buddy or friend..


In the documentary Way Beyond Weight, childhood obesity around the globe is explored via interviews with parents, government officials, school representatives, nutrition advocates and the children themselves

  • Childhood obesity is a global epidemic; in both the US and Brazil, one-third of kids are overweight or obese and at risk of health problems like heart disease and diabetes
  • Soda and fruit drinks are one likely culprit, with many kids drinking them daily, and some parents unaware that the latter is harmful
  • The processed-food industry targets kids using toys and animated characters, luring them in from a very young age and hooking them on their addictive junk foods
  • Many families also struggle with a lack of access to fresh whole foods, and a lack of education about which foods are truly healthy

Overweight or Obese….

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Food, Health

By Dr. Mercola

In the US, one-third of children aged 2 to 19 are overweight or obese. It’s an epidemic that reaches far beyond US soil, however.

In the documentary Way Beyond Weight, childhood obesity around the globe is explored via interviews with parents, government officials, school representatives, nutrition advocates and the children themselves.

Brazil, where one-third of children are overweight, is highlighted, but other countries, such as Kuwait, are also seeing younger and younger generations struggling with their weight. Though the terrain is significantly different, the underlying causes of childhood obesity appear to be largely the same.

Many Kids Are Hooked on Soda and Sugary Fruit Drinks

Many of the children interviewed for the film said they drink soda every day. Many were also drinking ‘fruit juices,’ some of which contained little, if any, actual fruit juice and hundreds of grams of sugar in a liter.

Parents often believed that the fruit drinks were healthy for their kids, and that is precisely what the manufacturers want them to believe.

As recently reported in the Guardian Express,1 kids are 40 percent heavier today compared to just 25 years ago, and a growing number of studies have linked rising childhood obesity rates to increased consumption of sugary beverages (including those sweetened with no- or low-cal sweeteners).

As a general rule, the beverage industry has denied or strongly downplayed its role in the childhood obesity epidemic, despite the fact that beverage companies spend over $1 billion annually on youth-targeted marketing—especially in school settings.

According to the Guardian Express, 80 percent of American schools have contracts with Coke or Pepsi to stock their products in school vending machines.

It’s an untenable position, really. Clearly, marketing WORKS, or else they wouldn’t be doing it, and when ads target an audience of 2- to 17-year-olds, it’s hardly an accident that kids in that age range opt for soda whenever they’re given a choice.

TV: Letting Food Marketers Into Your Living Room

Marketers have unfettered access to children via advertisements on television. So when your child watches TV, not only are they not engaging in the type of free play that provides exercise and mental stimulation, but they are simultaneously being exposed to strong messages urging them to eat junk food.

Toys, giveaways and movie characters are commonly used to lure kids in, and the messages work so effectively that many kids are actually embarrassed to eat healthy foods in front of their friends.

The documentary reveals that many families see the ability to provide juice boxes and chips as a sign of higher status and the kids may regard salads and vegetables as ‘poor people’ food. One expert even recalled children who would hide in the bathroom at their school to eat a banana, lest their friends seem them eating it.

Junk Foods May Be Cheaper, Easier to Access

For some families, access to fruits and vegetables is very limited, forcing them to rely on the processed foods at their local markets. Others realize that they can get a value meal at numerous fast-food restaurants for far less money than it takes to purchase foods to make a healthy meal for their family.

The proliferation of junk food extends even into school cafeterias, where children are further exposed to supposed ‘healthy’ meals that are actually comprised of processed meats and other concoctions with very limited, or no, whole foods.

Unfortunately, some parents are also unaware that feeding their kids fast-food meals is like feeding them a chemistry experiment, or they are simply lured in by the low prices and tasty (albeit artificial and addictive) flavors. Many fall victim to the food industry’s misleading ads, as well, believing that the foods they sell are wholesome when in actuality they’re little more than sugar and essential toxic additives. Around the globe, there were similar reasons behind children’s poor eating habits and subsequent obesity:

  • Not believing the junk food is harming their children
  • Battling with a picky eater and believing it’s better for your child to eat something, even if it’s unhealthy
  • Parents eating junk foods and role modeling this behavior to their kids
  • Giving in to kids’ demands for unhealthy foods to keep them ‘happy’
  • Lack of access to healthy foods, or lack of education about which foods are truly healthy

Is Your Child Overweight? Try These Top 5 Solutions

1. Replace Sugary Juices and Soft Drinks with Pure Water

Children can easily cut down on the amount of sugar they eat by eliminating soda and juice and only drinking water. This step alone can have a dramatic effect on your child’s weight and health, since every daily soft drink or sugar-sweetened beverage consumed increases the risk of obesity by a whopping 60 percent.

2. Offer Plenty of Whole Foods

It’s important for parents to encourage their children to eat healthy, nutritious foods, focusing on fresh whole foods (preferably organic whenever possible). This does not mean you should not allow your child to eat when he’s hungry, however. Children need calories and nutrients to grow and develop — just make sure to encourage healthy foods and bypass junk and processed foods.

Remember that any meal or snack high in carbohydrates or sugars generates a rapid rise in your child’s blood glucose level. To adjust for this rise, the pancreas secretes insulin into their bloodstream, which lowers glucose (sugar) levels. Insulin is essentially a storage hormone, which is used to store the excess calories from carbohydrates in the form of fat.

Insulin, stimulated by excess carbohydrates in over consumption of grains, starches and sweets, is responsible for your overweight child’s bulging tummy and fat rolls. Even worse, high insulin levels suppress two other important hormones — glucagons and growth hormones — that are responsible for burning fat and sugar and promoting muscle development, respectively. So insulin from excess carbohydrates promotes fat, and then wards off your body’s ability to lose that fat.

3. Decrease or Eliminate TV and Screen Time and Remove the TV from Your Child’s Bedroom

TV is often a destructive influence on children. As mentioned, not only does it encourage inactivity, but it also exposes them to commercials promoting worthless foods. Just as you don’t want your child exposed to ads for cigarettes during Saturday morning cartoons, neither should your kids be bombarded by non-stop commercials for sugary foods and snacks. Alternatively, you can implement a rule that allows your child one minute of video (TV or game) time for every minute of exercise. Or, join millions of families that use services like Netflix primarily because you choose each piece of media you or your child watches and it is always advertisement free.

4. Increase Exercise

Exercise is extremely important for all children. Your overweight or obese child needs at least 30 minutes of activity a day, which should ideally include some higher intensity activities (such as sprinting after your dog or playing a game of tag). Any activity that gets your child up and away from the television set, video game or computer is a good idea. Encourage physical activity that you can do together as a family, such as bike rides, hikes or a family game of softball.

5. Help Your Child Address Emotional Eating

Emotions play a major role in childhood obesity and often, weight loss efforts get sabotaged by emotional eating. Your child may also feel depressed or anxious about their weight, adding to the vicious cycle. And, sugar is highly addictive, making giving up soda, sweets and carbs difficult even for adults.

This is where the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) comes in. EFT can be profoundly helpful in alleviating not only food cravings, but also the underlying emotional challenges, such as low self-esteem, that can lead your child to eat unhealthy food or overeat.

More Tips for Creating a Healthy Eating Environment for Kids

Ultimately, teaching your child the importance of healthy foods and exercise is the key to maintaining health. With that in mind, after watching the documentary, here are some tips to foster a healthy view of food and self-esteem in your child.

  • Lead by example and seek to maintain optimal body weight for yourself and your spouse
  • Refrain from making jokes about your child’s weight, even if no harm is intended
  • Explain the health risks of being overweight to your child, but avoid comparing your overweight child to other children, including thinner siblings
  • Cook healthy meals for your family, and let your child be involved in making dinner, but avoid making your child eat different food than the rest of the family
  • Encourage your child to make healthy food choices and praise them when they do instead of putting your child down about weight or eating habits
  • Instead of using food as a reward or punishment, have healthy snacks available at all times, and explain to your child the benefits they’ll get from eating these fresh, whole foods; use non-food items, such as stickers or special outings/activities as rewards instead

If you need more help getting your family on the right track, my nutrition plan offers a step-by-step guide to feed your family right, and I encourage you to read through it now. You can find even more help in the book I wrote on the subject, Generation XL: Raising Healthy, Intelligent Kids in a High-Tech, Junk-Food World.

Why Coke is a Joke…

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

By Dr. Mercola

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola Company rolled out an ad campaign encouraging people to unite in the fight against obesity. The irony of the situation was not lost on most people however, and the ads drew fire from consumers, consumer advocates and obesity experts1,2 alike.

After all, there’s no doubt that soda is one of the primary beverages responsible for skyrocketing obesity rates, and Coke’s campaign was seen as little more than an effort in damage control.

Soda sales are down, and Coca-Cola should be applauding this fact as it is matched by some small improvements with our childhood obesity rates. Instead, they are marketing sodas harder than ever to make up for lost sales.

Coca-Cola believes a calorie is just a calorie, and if you consume more than you burn – that’s why you become obese. In other words, their products and marketing to children are not to blame – the problem is that Americans just don’t exercise enough.

Now, Coca-Cola Co. has launched another ad campaign—this time to assure consumers that its no- or low-calorie beverages containing the artificial sweetener aspartame are a safe alternative. As reported in the featured article by AdWeek3:

“It’s Coca-Cola’s first ad explicitly defending its use of artificial sweeteners in an ad, but the print execution is an extension of the company’s campaign, launched this January, to combat detractors who blame it for contributing to obesity, by pointing to the host of diet and other beverages it sells beyond traditional, sugary cola.”

According to the ad, aspartame is a “safe, high-quality alternative to sugar.” Clearly they’ve not reviewed the hundreds of studies on this artificial sweetener demonstrating its harmful effects… Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson issued the following statement in response to Coca-Cola’s new ad4:

“Aspartame has been found to cause cancer5leukemia, lymphoma, and other tumors—in laboratory animals, and it shouldn’t be in the food supply.

We certainly want Coca-Cola to shift its product mix toward lower- and no-calorie drinks, but aspartame’s reputation isn’t worth rehabilitating with this propaganda campaign. The company would be better off phasing out its use of aspartame and accelerating its research into safer, natural sweeteners such as those extracted from the stevia plant.”

Sweet Beverages Linked to Skyrocketing Childhood Obesity Rates

As recently reported in the Guardian Express6, kids are 40 percent heavier today compared to just 25 years ago, and a growing number of studies have linked rising childhood obesity rates to increased consumption of sugary beverages—including those sweetened with no- or low-cal sweeteners:

“Aspartame has arguably been found to have the effects of increasing the appetite, fat storage stimulation, carbohydrate cravings and weight gain.

In addition to aspartame, one cup of your child’s favorite sugary drink contains nearly 11 teaspoons of sugar, at 128 calories per serving. If you equate that to a child having, on average, one cup of any soft drink containing these ingredients with each meal that is an additional 384 calories or more each day just in beverages,” the Guardian Express writes.

As a general rule, the beverage industry has denied or strongly downplayed its role in the childhood obesity epidemic, despite the fact that beverage companies spend over $1 billion annually on youth-targeted marketing—especially in school settings. According to the Guardian Express, 80 percent of American schools have contracts with Coke or Pepsi to stock their products in school vending machines.

It’s an untenable position, really. Clearly, marketing WORKS, or else they wouldn’t be doing it, and when ads target an audience of 2- to 17-year olds, it’s hardly an accident that kids in that age range opt for soda whenever they’re given a chance!

Americans currently get a majority of their daily calories from sugar, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in soda and other sweetened beverages.

Half of the US population over the age of two consumes sugary drinks on a daily basis7, and this figure does not even include 100% fruit juices, flavored milk or sweetened teas, all of which are sugary too, which means the figure is actually even higher.

Yet this is only one side of the equation. On the other, you have artificially sweetened beverages (and other “diet” foods), which, contrary to popular belief, carry just as much responsibility for the stubborn rise in obesity. Your body simply isn’t fooled by the lack of calories in these sweetened products, and studies have repeatedly confirmed that artificial sweeteners appear to cause even greater weight gain than calorie-laden sweeteners.

Falling for Flawed Calorie-Counting Advice Is a Costly Mistake

Coca-Cola’s multi-million dollar “anti-obesity” campaign focuses on the outdated idea that all calories are equal, regardless of where they come from, and that consuming more calories than you burn off results in weight gain8. It’s well worth noting that this “conventional wisdom” has been firmly debunked by science. It is in fact FAR more important to look at the source of the calories than counting them. Even Weight Watchers, the world’s largest diet company, finally recognized this two years ago.

The truth is, you do not get fat because you eat too many calories and don’t exercise enough. You get fat because you eat the wrong kind of calories. At the end of the day, your consumption of carbohydrates, whether in the form of grains and sugars (especially fructose), will determine whether or not you’re able to manage your weight and maintain optimal health.

This is because these types of carbs (fructose and grains) affect the hormone insulin, which is a very potent fat regulator. Meanwhile, fats and proteins affect insulin to a far lesser degree.

Unfortunately, calorie-counting is still a popular misconception, around which an entire industry of “diet” foods and beverages utilizing artificial no- or low-calorie sweeteners has been built. Alas, research has repeatedly shown that artificially sweetened “diet” drinks and foods actually tend to:

  • Stimulate your appetite
  • Increase cravings for carbs, and
  • Stimulate fat storage and weight gain

Artificial Sweeteners Actually INCREASE Weight Gain

It is my belief that the FTC should sue Coke and the other diet soda manufacturers, for fraudulent advertising as there are no studies showing that the use of diet sodas cause one to lose weight. In fact, they actually have been shown to cause weight gain. A 2012 study published in the journal Appetite9 showed that saccharin and aspartame both cause greater weight gain than sugar. In this study, rats were fed plain yogurt sweetened with either aspartame, saccharin, or sugar, plus their regular rat chow, for 12 weeks. According to the researchers10:

“Results showed that addition of either saccharin or aspartame to yogurt resulted in increased weight gain compared to addition of sucrose, however total caloric intake was similar among groups.”

The reason for the similar calorie consumption between the groups was due to increased chow consumption by the rats given artificially sweetened yogurt. This type of compensation has been found in previous studies11 as well, indicating that when your body gets a hit of sweet taste without the calories to go with it, it adversely affects your appetite control mechanisms, causing increased food cravings. This connection between sweet taste alone and increased hunger can be found in the medical literature going back at least two decades. These two studies, for example, dating back to the late 80s and early 90s, both showed this link between artificial sweeteners and increased hunger:

  • Physiology & Behavior, 198812 – In this study, they determined that intense (no- or low-calorie) sweeteners can produce significant changes in appetite. Of the three sweeteners tested, aspartame produced the most pronounced effects.
  • Physiology & Behavior 199013 – Here, they again evaluated whether or not the mere taste of “sweet” increases hunger, by having human subjects chew gum for 15 minutes containing various levels of aspartame (0.05%, 0.3%, 0.5%, or 1.0%).

Interestingly, although those who chewed artificially sweetened gum reported increased hunger compared to the control group who were given nothing or unsweetened gum base to chew, the increase did not directly correlate with the aspartame concentration in the gum. Women experienced the greatest increase in hunger after chewing gum containing 0.3 percent aspartame (the second lowest concentration amount), while men were the hungriest after chewing on gum containing 0.5 percent aspartame. The authors stated:

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

Diet Soda Linked to Same Health Problems as Regular Soda

Artificial sweeteners also appear to cause many other health effects typically associated with high sugar consumption. Most recently, a report published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism14 highlighted the fact that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, such as excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke15,16. The authors—who were “shocked” at the results—looked at studies published in the past five years that examine the relationship between diet soda consumption and health outcomes:

“This paper discusses these findings and considers the hypothesis that consuming sweet-tasting but noncaloric or reduced-calorie food and beverages interferes with learned responses that normally contribute to glucose and energy homeostasis. Because of this interference, frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements,” they write.

Recent research has also demonstrated that aspartame worsens insulin sensitivity to a greater degree than sugar, which is quite the blow for diabetics who obediently follow the recommendation to switch to diet sodas to manage their condition. The researchers used a dosage of aspartame that approximates the ADI for aspartame in the US (approx. 50 mg/kg body weight), and not only was aspartame found to decrease insulin sensitivity compared to controls, it also wrought havoc on brain function.

The Biological Explanation Behind Aspartame’s Harmful Side Effects

According to the “aspartame safety” page17 issued by the Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness, “when aspartame is digested, your body breaks it down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol.” Methanol is one of the root problems with aspartame. However, Coca-Cola (and many other food and beverage manufacturers) often misleadingly counter the claims of methanol being a harmful aspect of aspartame by pointing out that it also occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables.

For instance, Coca-Cola writes:

“Compared to amounts obtained from an aspartame-sweetened beverage, these components are consumed in much greater amounts from a variety of foods, including milk, meat, dried beans, fruits and vegetables… a serving of tomato juice provides about six times more methanol, compared to an equivalent serving of a beverage sweetened with aspartame.”

So why would methanol cause a problem in aspartame if it’s harmless in fruits and vegetables? There are two main points that need to be understood here:

    1. Aspartame is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol. This is in sharp contrast to naturally-occurring methanol found in certain fruits and vegetables, where it is firmly bonded to pectin, allowing the methanol to be safely passed through your digestive tract.
    2. Your body metabolizes methyl alcohol differently than every other animal. All animals, with the exception of humans, have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid. This is why toxicology testing on animals is a flawed model. It doesn’t fully apply to humans.

Here’s how this works: Both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body, which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals. Peroxisome contains catalase, which help detoxify methanol. Other chemicals in the peroxisome convert the formaldehyde to formic acid, which is harmless, but this last step occurs only in animals. When methanol enters the peroxisome of every animal except humans, it gets into that mechanism. Humans do have the same number of peroxisomes in comparable cells as animals, but human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid.

So, in humans, methanol ends up acting as a Trojan horse. It’s carried into susceptible tissues in your body, like your brain and bone marrow, where an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) converts it into formaldehyde. And since there’s no catalase present, the formaldehyde is free to cause enormous damage in your tissues.

Are Your Health Problems Related to Aspartame?

Symptoms from methanol poisoning include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Meanwhile, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and may cause birth defects.

Symptoms of methanol poisoning are very similar to the side effects of aspartame. Unfortunately, aspartame toxicity is not well known by physicians, despite its frequency. Diagnosis is also hampered by the fact that it mimics several other common health conditions. It’s quite possible that you could be having a reaction to artificial sweeteners and not even know it, or be blaming it on another cause. To determine if you’re having a reaction to artificial sweeteners, take the following steps:

  • Eliminate all artificial sweeteners from your diet for two weeks.
  • After two weeks of being artificial sweetener-free, reintroduce your artificial sweetener of choice in a significant quantity (about three servings daily).
  • Avoid other artificial sweeteners during this period.
  • Do this for one to three days and notice how you feel, especially as compared to when you were consuming no artificial sweeteners.
  • If you don’t notice a difference in how you feel after re-introducing your primary artificial sweetener for a few days, it’s a safe bet you’re able to tolerate it acutely, meaning your body doesn’t have an immediate, adverse response. However, this doesn’t mean your health won’t be damaged in the long run.
  • If you’ve been consuming more than one type of artificial sweetener, you can repeat steps 2 through 4 with the next one on your list.

If you do experience side effects from aspartame, please report it to the FDA (if you live in the United States) without delay. It’s easy to make a report — just go to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator page, find the phone number for your state, and make a call reporting your reaction.

Improve Your Health by Ditching Sweetened Drinks

Perhaps one of the most powerful scientific discoveries to emerge in the past several years is that the old adage “a calorie is a calorie” is patently false. The research clearly demonstrates that even if you control the number of calories you eat, if those calories come from fructose, you are at increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, or prediabetes, which includes insulin resistance, fatty liver, high blood pressure and high triglycerides.

So please, do yourself and your family a huge favor, and don’t allow yourself to get swept up in Coca-Cola’s multi-million dollar ad campaigns, which are based on flawed, inaccurate, misleading, and patently false conventions of thinking about obesity and the role of aspartame. Let’s not forget: Coca-Cola spent $1.2 million to defeat California Proposition 37 last November, which would have required genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled as such (which could have included soda containing GE high fructose corn syrup). That, in and of itself, is proof positive that Coca-Cola has no concern for health conscious consumers.

Sweetened beverages, whether it’s sweetened with sugar, HFCS, naturally-occurring fructose, or artificial sweeteners like aspartame, are among the worst culprits in the fight against obesity and related health problems, including diabetes, heart and liver disease, just to name a few. Ditching ALL of these types of beverages can go a long way toward reducing your risk for chronic health problems and weight gain. So what should you drink?

Your best most cost effective choice is to drink filtered tap water. The caveat though is to make sure you filter your tap water. I’ve written a large number of articles on the hazards of tap water, from fluoride to dangerous chemicals and drugs, to toxic disinfection byproducts and heavy metals, so having a good filtration system in place is more of a necessity than a luxury in most areas.

Remember, nothing beats pure water when it comes to serving your body’s needs. If you really feel the urge for a carbonated beverage, try sparkling mineral water with a squirt of lime or lemon juice.

Another option to consider is to bottle your own water from a gravity-fed spring. There’s a great website called where you can find natural springs in your area. This is a great way to get back to nature and teach your children about health and the sources of clean water. The best part is that most of these spring water sources are free! Just remember to bring either clear polyethylene or glass containers to collect the water so no unsafe chemicals can contaminate your water on the way home. If you choose to use glass bottles, be sure to wrap them in towels to keep them from breaking in the car.

Tell Coke They’re a Joke!

Obesity is a serious public health problem in the United States, and you are being sorely misled by companies pretending to have a solution that, in reality, only worsen the problem. I strongly urge you to let the Coca-Cola Company know how you feel by telling them to stop their deceptive marketing of soda products.

Join me in taking a stand against false advertising and let your voice be heard. If you’re on twitter, send a tweet to #CokeCEO to let the Coca-Cola Company know you are not happy with their deceptive advertising. If you’re on Facebook, please share your thoughts with them on their Facebook Page. Please also email the Coca-Cola Company to let them know how you feel!

Ever expanding waistlines…

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

A staggering two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and according to the American Heart Association,1 five percent of American children can now be considered “severely obese,” which puts their health at grave risk.

One in four Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic, and an estimated 110,000 Americans die as a result of obesity-related ailments each year. This includes cancer, about one-third of which are directly related to obesity.

Carb-rich processed foods, along with rarely ever fasting, are primary drivers of these statistics, and while many blame Americans’ overindulgence of processed junk foods on lack of self control, scientists are now starting to reveal the truly addictive nature of such foods.

The video above features Huffington Post’s Editorial Director Meredith Melnick and a panel of experts in nutrition, public health, and obesity. In it, they discuss the effects that our toxic food environment have on weight. The video also includes clips from the four-part HBO documentary series,2 Weight of the Nation.

As reported in the featured article:3

“Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. People who are obese may also face social and professional discrimination, limited mobility and elevated rates of depression.

In June of this year, the American Medical Association (AMA) classified obesity as a disease for the first time — and what a complicated disease it is. At the time of the resolution, the organization wrote:

“The suggestion that obesity is not a disease but rather a consequence of a chosen lifestyle exemplified by overeating and/or inactivity is equivalent to suggesting that lung cancer is not a disease because it was brought about by individual choice to smoke cigarettes.”

It is this gray area — “the suggestion of the chosen lifestyle” — that we joined together to discuss.

Obesity—A Disease, or the Outcome of Poor Lifestyle Choices?

As the article mentions, the conventional view has been that obesity is either the result of “bad genetics” or poor lifestyle choices combined with a certain amount of laziness or lack of willpower.

But as panelist Walter Willett (who chairs the department of nutrition at the Harvard school of public health) points out, the fact that obesity rates 50-60 years ago were only one-third of what they are today is a potent clue that genetics are not to blame.

Also, a number of other affluent nations do not have the same obesity problems as the US. For example, the obesity rate among Swedish and Japanese women is between five and six percent, compared to almost 40 percent for American women. Furthermore, when people from such countries move to the US, they end up gaining significant amounts of weight…

This tells us there’s something in the American diet that is different from other nations, in which people do not have the same level of difficulty with their weight.

Unfortunately, branding obesity as a disease is not going to do anything to change matters for the better. If anything, it will only deepen the problem, as drugs, surgery and even “anti-obesity vaccines”4 will quickly become the advertised answer for this new “disease.”

For example, just one month before the AMA’s reveal of obesity as a disease, a new diet drug sold under the name Belviq became available by prescription to patients with a body mass index (BMI) above 30, or a BMI of 27 with at least one weight-related condition, such as hypertension or Type 2 diabetes.

The drug works by activating serotonin receptors in your brain, which is thought to reduce feelings of hunger—although it sounds awfully similar to the action of certain antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which boost serotonin levels and are fraught with dangerous side effects, including suicide. CNN Health5 also reported that some patients taking the drug have reported heart valve problems.
The drug’s website6 admits that it’s still not known whether Belviq might increase your risk of heart problems or stroke. A sound health care system simply would not encourage the use of a weight loss drug that might lead to increased heart attack or stroke risk when the appropriate dietary- and lifestyle changes would REDUCE those risks right along with the lost weight…

The fact is, well-educated nutritional experts already KNOW what’s causing obesity and how to fix the problem. But this involves massive changes to the processed food industry, updating agricultural subsidies to promote healthier non-processed foods, and telling the public the truth about nutrition—without any regard for industry profitability. We also need to stop the dangerous marketing of junk food to children.

Food Addiction and Obesity Is a Profit-Driven Enterprise

At the heart of the problem is the issue of toxic food—foods that are heavily processed and purposely designed for maximum “craveability.”  None of this happened by chance. Companies spend untold amounts concocting just the right flavor formulas to keep you coming back for more. To illustrate my point, consider this: Researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital recently demonstrated that highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger.7 As reported by Science Daily:8

“These findings suggest that limiting these “high-glycemic index” foods could help obese individuals avoid overeating.”

While I don’t agree with the concept of high glycemic foods, the featured research shows just how foolhardy the AMA’s decision to reclassify obesity as a disease really is, because drugs and vaccines are clearly not going to do anything to address the underlying problem of addictive junk food!

“Sensory-specific satiety” is a fundamental guiding principle in the processed food industry, and this applies to everything from junky snacks to staples like pasta sauce—that’s part of the problem! Processed fructose, salt and fat are the top three substances making processed foods so addictive. Novel biotech flavor companies like Senomyx also play an important role in the development of foods that trick you into thinking it’s healthier than it really is.

Senomyx, for example, specializes in helping companies find new flavors that allow them to use less salt and sugar in their foods. But does that really make the food healthier? This is a questionable assertion at best, as these “flavor enhancers” are being created using carefully guarded patented processes. They also do not need to be listed on the food label, which leaves you completely in the dark—all you see is that the food contains far less of the dietary culprits you’re told to avoid.

Following USDA Diet Recommendations is a Recipe for Obesity

Some of you may be old enough to recall the 1992 Food Pyramid, which had grains as the largest bottom block of the pyramid, encouraging you to eat 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta each day. This excess of carbohydrates, most of them refined, is precisely the opposite of what most people need to stay healthy. At the very top of the pyramid was fats and sugar, and while sugar clearly belongs there, healthy fats do not. In fact, most people would benefit from getting anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of their total calories from healthy fats!

The food pyramid was replaced with “MyPlate9 in 2011, which slightly downplayed grains as the most important dietary ingredient, making vegetables the largest “slice,” but it still has a long way to go before it will offer a meal plan that will truly support your optimal health.

One of its most glaring faults is that MyPlate virtually removed all fats from the equation! In fact, except for a small portion of dairy, which is advised to be fat-free or low-fat, fats are missing entirely… There is no mention of the importance of dietary fats, even the “politically correct” ones like the monounsaturated fats in olive oil and nuts, such as pecans (canola oil is also in this category, but I advise avoiding it and using coconut oil instead).

The US government refuses to accept the ever mounting data showing that saturated fat is actually an incredibly healthy, nourishing, and all-natural fat that humans have been thriving on for generations. It provides the necessary building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances that are critical to your health. Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as coconut oil, avocado, non-CAFO meat and dairy,  also provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet.

When you eat fats as part of your meal, they also slow down absorption so that you can feel satiated longer, which helps curb overeating. Additionally, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and are needed for mineral absorption and a host of other biological processes. To get these healthy saturated fats in your diet, you need to eat animal foods like butter and other full-fat raw dairy products and eggs, yet these foods are still demonized by the establishment.

Take Control of Your Health and Embrace REAL Food

With a food system and dietary guidelines that promote obesity and actively prevents optimal health by restricting critical nutrients, is it any wonder Americans are struggling? If you’re at all concerned about your health, nutrition is paramount, and you’re simply not going to get what you need from a boxed concoction of processed ingredients.

So, first and foremost, you have to realize that a healthy diet equates to fresh whole, preferably organic foods, and foods that have been minimally processed. I advise spending 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent (or less) on processed foods. If the food meets the following criteria, it would fall under the designation of “real food,” which is the very foundation of good health:

  1. It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
  2. It’s not genetically engineered
  3. It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
  4. It does not contain any artificial ingredients, including chemical preservatives
  5. It is fresh (keep in mind that if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
  6. It did not come from a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO)
  7. It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
  8. It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

How to Combat Food Addiction and Regain Your Health

The sad fact is, if you eat a standard American diet (SAD), which primarily consists of processed foods, you’re virtually guaranteed to inadvertently pack on extra pounds, even if you think you’re eating healthy.  For the majority of people, limiting carbs to non-starchy vegetables and severely restricting or eliminating carbohydrates such as sugars, fructose, and grains in your diet will be the key to sustained weight loss.

It’s important to realize that refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

As you cut these dietary villains from your meals, you need to replace them with healthy fats, such as the following. (Avoid the common Paleo mistake of replacing carbs with protein as that could actually convert to sugar in your diet and could be more problematic than excess carbs.)

Olives and Olive oil Coconuts and coconut oil Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Organic raw nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which are low in protein and omega-6 fat Organic pastured egg yolks and pastured meats Avocados


I’ve detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my free comprehensive nutrition plan.

Additionally, a growing body of evidence shows that intermittent fasting is particularly effective for losing weight. One of the mechanisms that makes intermittent fasting so effective for weight loss is the fact that it provokes the natural secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), which is a fat-burning hormone. Fasting also increases catecholamines, which increases resting energy expenditure, while decreasing insulin levels, which allows stored fat to be burned for fuel. Together, these and other factors will turn you into an effective fat-burning machine. Hence, if like many tens of millions of people, your goal is to shed excess fat, fasting can be both effective and beneficial for improving many disease markers.

Best of all, once you transition to fat burning mode your cravings for sugar and carbs will virtually disappear—it’s really as close to a “magic pill”-effect as you’ll ever get. While you’re making the adjustment, you could try an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many sugar addicts kick their sweet habit.

Last but certainly not least, to boost weight loss, make sure to incorporate high-intensity, short-burst-type exercises, such as my Peak Fitness Program, two to three times per week. Several studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session. High intensity exercise can also combat food cravings. It always amazes me how my appetite, especially for sweets, dramatically decreases after a good workout. I believe the mechanism is related to the dramatic reduction in insulin levels that occurs after exercise.

Your Child’s Healthy Diet Is Up to You

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

The British BBC documentary above originally aired back in 2008. At the time, one in four preschool children in the UK were overweight or obese, closely matching childhood obesity rates in the United States.

According to the latest statistics,1 30 percent of British children between the ages of two and 15 are now overweight or obese.

Similarly, in the US, more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Eighteen percent of American children between the ages of six and 11 are in the obese category—up from seven percent in 1980.2 Five percent of American children are “severely obese,” which puts them at grave risk for chronic diseases typically reserved for adults, such as heart and liver disease.

One interesting fact is that, in contrast to third-world countries, in the US the poorest people have the highest obesity rates.

This seeming contradiction is, I believe, a clear indication that the problem stems from the diet itself. Something in the cheapest and most readily available foods is creating metabolic havoc.

In short, the obesity epidemic is a direct outgrowth of a diet of processed foods with their cheap non-nutritive fillers, artificial ingredients, and synthetic chemical additives (many of which are banned in other countries due to health effects).

Most importantly, virtually all processed foods are loaded with refined fructose, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup—and in the US, most of it is genetically engineered (GE) to boot. This type of diet is a major factor in the recipe for obesity.

Obesity Is an Inevitable Outcome of a Processed Food Diet

Many parents, including those featured in this film, are confounded and befuddled about the cause of their child’s excess weight gain. The root of the problem becomes quickly recognizable when you start looking at the foods your child eats, and that includes baby food.

If you feed your child commercial infant formula, baby food, and/or miscellaneous fruit juices, you need to beware that you’re feeding your child enormous amounts of sugar, several times a day.

In fact, some baby foods contain as much sugar and saturated fats as chocolate cookies or cheeseburgers. One 2009 survey of more than 100 foods for babies and toddlers found examples that were 29 percent sugar, and others that contained trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease.

When a child starts out with a diet of processed fructose and trans fats, excessive weight gain is not a mystery outcome—it’s more or less an inevitability.

Parents need to wake up and face the reality that processed foods have dramatically changed  over the years. The level of processing and chemical additives has increased exponentially and a majority of foods are now boxed or canned for your convenience.
Today’s pre-packaged convenience foods have been processed and altered to the point of being virtually unrecognizable, nutritionally, from the real deal.

The documentary features Paul Gately, a Professor of Exercise and Obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University, who organized Great Britain’s first weight loss camp for kids under the age of five. As Gately says, it’s important to get your child’s weight under control as early as possible, as obesity dramatically increases his or her risk of a wide variety of chronic diseases, including:

Diabetes, which can lead to a whole host of other medical issues Congestive heart failure, a condition in which your heart can’t pump enough blood to your body’s other organs
Pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal blockage of an artery Fatty liver disease, in which large pockets of fat accumulate in your liver cells
Osteoarthritis Gout, caused by uric acid accumulation in your blood
Gallbladder disease, resulting from high blood cholesterol levels, which can cause gall stones Cancer, particularly estrogen-sensitive cancers like breast cancer

Are You Feeding Your Child Sugar All Day Long?

I disagree with the notion that young children are simply eating too many calories and not getting enough physical exercise. Toddlers have eaten heartily for many centuries without getting obese and sick. Again, the heart of the problem lies in the source of those calories.

If you want to give your baby the best start nutritionally, do not follow the advice in most baby books encouraging you to start your baby out on rice cereal—a refined carbohydrate. Other than breast milk or formula, rice is the number one source of calories for infants in the first year of life, according to Stanford University pediatrician Alan Greene, and this is nothing short of a nutritional disaster.

For many kids, it’s downhill from there. Refined fructose, typically in some form of corn syrup, is now found in virtually every processed food and fast food meal you can think of, and fructose actually “programs” your body to consume more calories and store fat.

Grains are another culprit, as they are quickly converted into sugar and then fat in your child’s body. These types of carbs (fructose and grains) affect the hormones insulin and leptin, both of which are very potent fat regulators. (Fats and proteins affect them to a far lesser degree.) So please don’t fall for the flawed notion that cereal is an ideal breakfast food. Two years ago, Kellogg had the gall to claim, on their web site, that “sugar does not cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease or hyperactivity.3” At the time, I commented that, was the truth to be accepted, they’d be fined for advertising fraud. Since then, they’ve removed that crazy statement, and now just urge you to “put sugar in perspective,” pointing out that:4

Sugar in cereals — including kids cereals —contributes less than 5 percent of daily sugar intake. Yet it adds taste, texture and enjoyment to cereal, while encouraging the consumption of fiber, vitamins and minerals — essential nutrients that you and your kids might not otherwise get from any other meal.”

Their assertion is still ridiculous, as the nutrients your child really needs are found in whole fresh foods; not in a box of processed cereal loaded with sugar and synthetic chemical additives, but at least it’s not blatantly fraudulent like so many other food industry lies and deceptions.

Many Kids Are Hooked on Soda and Sugary Fruit Drinks

Many children also drink soda every day. Many also drink ‘fruit juices,’ some of which contained little, if any, actual fruit juice and hundreds of grams of sugar in a liter. Parents often believed that fruit drinks were healthy for their kids, and that is precisely what the manufacturers want them to believe. As recently reported in the Guardian Express,5 kids are 40 percent heavier today compared to just 25 years ago, and a growing number of studies have linked rising childhood obesity rates to increased consumption of sugary beverages (including those sweetened with no- or low-cal sweeteners).

As a general rule, the beverage industry has denied or strongly downplayed its role in the childhood obesity epidemic, despite the fact that beverage companies spend over $1 billion annually on youth-targeted marketing—especially in school settings. According to the Guardian Express, 80 percent of American schools have contracts with Coke or Pepsi to stock their products in school vending machines. It’s an untenable position, really. Clearly, marketing WORKS, or else they wouldn’t be doing it, and when ads target an audience of 2- to 17-year-olds, it’s hardly an accident that kids in that age range opt for soda whenever they’re given a choice.

Children Are Also at Increased Risk from GMO Side Effects

In the US, parents also have to contend with the fact that a vast majority of corn-based fructose is genetically engineered and heavily contaminated with the toxic herbicide glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Experts like Dr. Don Huber strongly believe that glyphosate is actually more toxic than DDT.

Compelling evidence now suggests that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, soy and wheat, enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease. Glyphosate also severely disrupts your gut flora, thereby further exacerbating metabolic havoc and poor health.

Other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can also be found in infant formulas, and no one really knows what the health risks of such ingredients might be, especially long-term. It’s important to remember that pound for pound, infants experience greater exposure to chemicals than adults, and have immature and porous blood-brain barriers, which allow greater chemical exposures to reach their developing brains. Hence an all-organic diet is really crucial for infants and young children.

Breastfeeding Is the Healthy Start Your Baby Needs

Breastfeeding is clearly the best option. Besides lacking the full arsenal of critical nutrients obtained from breast milk, many infant formulas also contain far too much sugar (your baby doesn’t need any). But it’s not just a matter of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats that makes breast milk far superior to formula. Breast milk also contains substances that may significantly enhance your baby’s gut and support the healthy development of her entire nervous system.

If you are unable to breastfeed, you may want to consider the option of purchasing human breast milk, which is becoming a hot commodity online. Nursing women are now selling their extra milk to other families, many of whom are pairing up online via Craigslist and other classified sites. This trend harkens back to ancient times when wet nurses (women who breastfeed babies other than their own) were used. For more about this option and some cautions, please refer to this article on the sale of breast milk.

Please avoid feeding your baby soy based formula, as it can contain dangerously high concentrations of manganese and estrogenic compounds. Aside from GMOs, infant formulas have also been found to be contaminated with a variety of problematic chemicals over the years, including:

  • Perchlorates (a component of rocket fuel)
  • Melamine
  • Advanced glycoprotein end products (AGEs)

How to Introduce Solid Foods

Outside of breast milk, the best foods you can give your baby are those you prepare for your family fresh at home. Store-bought versions just cannot compare nutritionally, as they frequently contain unhealthy ingredients your baby is far better off without. When your baby is ready to start eating solid foods, introduce new foods one at a time at intervals of two to three days. This helps your baby get used to the food, and will also help you reveal any food sensitivities or allergies. Small serving sizes, even just a spoonful or two, are best to start.

As your infant gets older you can progress from pureed whole foods to finger foods she can feed herself, but be sure they are chopped small enough so they are not a choking hazard. Raisins, nuts, popcorn and other small foods should not be given to young infants due to the choking risk. For some simple baby food recipes and ideas for homemade solids, see this previous article.

Baby-led weaning (BLW) is also a great way to establish long-term healthy attitudes to food among children. For more information, please see the article, The What, Why, and How of Baby-Led Weaning.

Your Child’s Healthy Diet Is Up to You

Children will simply not know which foods are healthy unless you, as a parent, teach it to them. Remember, wholesome food is “live” and typically raw food, and the hallmark of live food is the fact that it will wilt and decompose. The fact that fast food burgers, buns, and fries do not decompose, even after a decade, is a clear sign that it’s just not real food and serves no beneficial purpose as part of your child’s diet.

It’s very simple: kids need real nutrients, not man-made chemicals that are nonexistent in natural food! These substitutes are NOT equivalent to the real deal.

Food is a part of crucial lifestyle choices first learned at home, so you need to educate yourself about proper nutrition and the dangers of junk food and processed foods in order to change the food culture of your entire family. To give your child the best start at life, and help instill healthy habits that will last a lifetime, you must lead by example. If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend reading my nutrition plan first. This will provide you with the foundation you need to start making healthy food choices for your family.

The simplest way back toward health, for children and adults alike, is to focus on WHOLE foods — foods that have not been processed or altered from their original state; food that has been grown or raised as nature intended, without the use of chemical additives, pesticides and fertilizers. You, a family member, or someone you pay will need to invest time in the kitchen cooking fresh wholesome meals from these whole foods so that you can break free from the processed food diet that will ultimately make you sick.

By doing this, and eating meals together as a family, your children will receive the proper nutrition their bodies need during the important developmental years while also developing a love for whole fresh foods that will last them a lifetime

Just Say “Know”

Posted by: admin  /  Category: Health

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning that fluoroquinolone antibiotics, taken by mouth or injection, carry a risk for permanent peripheral neuropathy. The safety announcement states:1

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required the drug labels and Medication Guides for all fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs be updated to better describe the serious side effect of peripheral neuropathy.

This serious nerve damage potentially caused by fluoroquinolones may occur soon after these drugs are taken and may be permanent… The topical formulations of fluoroquinolones, applied to the ears or eyes, are not known to be associated with this risk.

Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage in the arms and/or legs, characterized by “pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, or a change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature, or sense of body position.”

This is not the first warning FDA has posted about this family of antibacterial drugs. In 2008, they posted a black box warning about severe tendon damage. Now having the additional warning for severe and sometimes-permanent nerve damage, there should be NO question in your mind about the danger of these drugs, and I strongly recommend avoiding them if at all possible.

Just Say “Know”

Fluoroquinolones, a class of synthetic antibacterial drugs, are the only types that directly inhibit bacterial DNA synthesis. Several drugs in this class have been taken off the market due to their deadly adverse effects, but six of them remain FDA-approved for use in the United States:

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
Gemifloxacin (Factive) Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
Norfloxacin (Noroxin) Ofloxacin (Floxin)


Due to their tremendous health risks, fluoroquinolones should be reserved for treating serious bacterial infections that won’t respond to any other treatment, when the patient is made fully aware of the potential for serious adverse events. Instead, they’re often inappropriately prescribed for mild conditions like sinus, urinary tract and ear infections.

In fact, fluoroquinolones are among the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in the United States. I highly recommend you take pause before filling a prescription for these drugs, especially if you have a “routine infection” that has not been treated by other agents that have a safer side effect profile.

You should not expose yourself to this degree of risk unnecessarily! The dangerousness of fluoroquinolones definitely warrants some serious discourse with your health care provider about whether they are really necessary, versus safer treatment options.

Fluoridated Pharmaceuticals Can Be Extremely Damaging to Your Nervous System

Fluoroquinolones may be the deadliest antibiotics on the market. Besides nerve damage, they have been associated with damage to other body systems, including your musculoskeletal system, eyes and kidneys. What makes these particular drugs so hazardous?

It has to do with the fact that fluoroquinolones are antibiotics whose potency has been “kicked up” by the addition of a fluoride molecule. Fluoride increases permeability into hard-to-penetrate tissues, such as your brain.

Fluoroquinolones are quinolones with fluoride molecules attached—so they penetrate your blood-brain barrier. This ability to penetrate sensitive tissues is what makes fluoride such a potent neurotoxin, able to get into your brain and damage your central nervous system.

In terms of peripheral neuropathy, the FDA was not exactly quick to take action. Twelve years ago Dr. Jay Cohen documented the following fluoroquinolone-related reactions, and as you can see, nervous system problems topped the list.2 Yet it took more than a decade—and many destroyed lives—for the FDA to take action.

Nervous system symptoms occurred in 91 percent of patients taking fluoroquinolones (pain, tingling and numbness, dizziness, malaise, weakness, headaches, anxiety and panic, loss of memory, psychosis)
Musculoskeletal symptoms in 73 percent of patients (tendon ruptures, tendonitis, weakness, joint swelling)
Sensory symptoms in 42 percent of patients (tinnitus, altered visual, olfactory, and auditory function)
Cardiovascular symptoms in 36 percent of patients (tachycardia, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations)
Skin reactions in 29 percent of patients (rashes, hair loss, sweating, intolerance to heat or cold)
Gastrointestinal symptoms in 18 percent of patients (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain)


Levaquin, the best-selling antibiotic in 2010, actually faces thousands of lawsuits per year from people who have been seriously harmed by taking it. The serious reactions reported from Levaquin include:3

Retinal detachment, which can cause blindness Hallucinations Nausea and diarrhea
Acute kidney failure Psychotic reactions Hearing problems
Brain fog Painful rashes Disruptions to blood sugar metabolism
Depression Phototoxicity Peripheral neuropathy

Fluoroquinolones Destroy Collagen

Animal studies have shown that fluoroquinolones are directly toxic to collagen synthesis and promote collagen degradation.4 Fluoride disrupts collagen synthesis, which may be part of the reason that fluoridated pharmaceuticals can damage your muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments and other structures.

The fluoroquinolones seem to have an especially detrimental effect on your musculoskeletal system, presumably related to this adverse effect on collagen, which can lead to tendon damage and actual tendon ruptures. This resulted in the FDA’s issuing of a black box warning about tendon damage in 2008.5 Fluoroquinolones are not the only drugs “suped up” by the addition of a fluoride molecule. Prozac (fluoxetine), Prevacid, Baycol, and Dalmane (flurazepam) are also fluorinated.6

If you or someone you love are placed on these dangerous antibiotics, for whatever reason, one of the ways you can compensate for this toxicity is by taking magnesium.  It likely binds to the drugs and prevents it from causing the collagen damage.  In fact animal studies have shown that magnesium deficient animals can develop similar damage to those exposed to fluroquinolone drugs.  Lack of extracellular magnesium impairs the function of integrins which are transmembrane proteins that connect the cells to the extracellular matrix proteins which provide the functional strength for collagen.

Are We Heading for Even MORE FDA Warnings?

Two other recent studies may foreshadow even more warnings about fluoroquinolones, in terms of liver toxicity and greater risks for people with diabetes. Are we nearing the time when these drugs should be yanked off pharmacy shelves altogether, rather than just receiving more warnings on their labels?

  • Moxifloxacin and levofloxacin were found to increase the risk for acute liver toxicity in people age 66 and up. The findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in August 2012. The authors recommended FDA consider regulatory warnings regarding acute liver toxicity.7, 8
  • Oral fluoroquinolones cause an increased risk of dysglycemia (high blood sugar or low blood sugar reactions) for those with diabetes, according to a study in the August 14, 2013 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.9

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Resistance is Much Greater than Predicted

Fluoroquinolones contribute to the creation of  antibiotic-resistant bacteria to a much greater degree  than experts predicted, according to a report in Frontiers of Microbiology:10

“Since quinolones are synthetic antibiotics, it was predicted that mutations in target genes would be the only mechanism through which resistance could be acquired, because there will not be quinolone-resistance genes in nature. Contrary to this prediction, a variety of elements ranging from efflux pumps, target-protecting proteins, and even quinolone-modifying enzymes have been shown to contribute to quinolone resistance. The finding of some of these elements in plasmids indicates that quinolone resistance can be transferable…

Failure to predict the development of quinolone resistance reinforces the need of taking into consideration the wide plasticity of biological systems for future predictions. This plasticity allows pathogens to deal with toxic compounds, including those with a synthetic origin as quinolones.”

Not only are these antibiotics overused in people, but also in livestock (cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys) and in our canine and feline companions. Every year in the US, 29 million pounds of antibiotics—more than 70 percent of the total antibiotic production—are fed to livestock for nontherapeutic purposes, such as growth promotion. These antibiotics are passed on to you in the meat and dairy you consume.

Overuse of various antibiotics has been linked to antibiotic resistant infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and the potentially life-threatening diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile (C. diff). According to some research, being given fluoroquinolones is the most important risk factor in developing Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea (CDAD).11

The documentary “Rise of the Superbugs” details why antibiotic overuse is leading to the emergence of nightmare bacteria that have developed near-total resistance to today’s antibiotics. Even gonorrhea and tuberculosis bacteria now have resistant strains. Again, a large part of the problem is that these drugs, which should be reserved for life-threatening infections that cannot otherwise be treated, are being vastly overprescribed. Physicians who prescribe in this manner are essentially trying to kill mosquitos with sticks of dynamite—with collateral damage as described throughout this article.

Fluoroquinolones are thought to be particularly dangerous for children under age 18, adults over 60, and pregnant and nursing women, as well as for people with liver disease, diabetes, or those taking corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But, they are often prescribed for these groups anyway, without even a passing thought.

What You Can Do

If you believe you have experienced a reaction to one of these antibiotics—or any other drug, for that matter—please report it to MedWatch, the FDA’s safety information and adverse event reporting program. It is vital that they hear from each and every one of you who has experienced an adverse drug reaction. This is a major impetus in getting dangerous drugs removed from the market, and physicians almost never report the reactions themselves so it’s really up to you. MedWatch offers several reporting options:

There have been so many people damaged by fluoroquinolones that victims have banded together in a worldwide network, calling themselves “Floxies.” Quite a few Floxies are in the medical field themselves (or were, before they were poisoned), and are on a mission to help fellow fluoroquinolone poisoning victims, which is how the documentary Certain Adverse Events came about. If you haven’t already seen this film, I highly recommend it.12 For more information, you can also visit the following websites (there are many more in addition to these if you search by the term “fluoroquinolone”):