Monday, December 12, 2011

If You Know what's Good for You ... (Part 8)

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The Guilty Pleasure that Could Save You From Heart Disease
By Dr. Mercola
March 05 2012
For many decades now, U.S. policy makers have been attempting to get Americans to eat less salt. But the drive to do this has little basis in science.
In fact, a recent meta-analysis by the Cochrane Review involving a total of 6,250 subjects found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death.1
Another study published last year found that lower salt consumption actually increased your risk of death from heart disease.2
A review of the available research reveals that much of the science behind the supposed link between salt and high blood pressure is dubious at best.
According to Scientific American:3
"Intersalt, a large study published in 19884, compared sodium intake with blood pressure in subjects from 52 international research centers and found no relationship between sodium intake and the prevalence of hypertension.
In fact, the population that ate the most salt, about 14 grams a day, had a lower median blood pressure than the population that ate the least, about 7.2 grams a day...
Studies that have explored the direct relationship between salt and heart disease have not fared much better... For every study that suggests that salt is unhealthy, another does not."
The Tenuous Link Between Salt and Heart Disease
Melinda Moyer, writing for Scientific American, points out that the evidence linking salt to high blood pressure and heart disease has always been on the flimsy side, stating:5
"Fears over salt first surfaced more than a century ago. In 1904 French doctors reported that six of their subjects who had high blood pressure—a known risk factor for heart disease—were salt fiends. Worries escalated in the 1970s when Brookhaven National Laboratory's Lewis Dahl claimed that he had "unequivocal" evidence that salt causes hypertension: he induced high blood pressure in rats by feeding them the human equivalent of 500 grams of sodium a day. (Today the average American consumes 3.4 grams of sodium, or 8.5 grams of salt, a day.)
Dahl also discovered population trends that continue to be cited as strong evidence of a link between salt intake and high blood pressure. People living in countries with a high salt consumption—such as Japan—also tend to have high blood pressure and more strokes.
But as a paper pointed out several years later in the American Journal of Hypertension, scientists had little luck finding such associations when they compared sodium intakes within populations, which suggested that genetics or other cultural factors might be the culprit. Nevertheless, in 1977 the U.S. Senate's Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs released a report recommending that Americans cut their salt intake by 50 to 85 percent, based largely on Dahl's work."
This is certainly not the first time a stubborn dogmatic belief has grown out of a hypothesis that later turned out to be incorrect. The same applies to the saturated-fat-is-bad-for-your-heart myth, which is based on cherry-picked data… Since the days of Lewis Dahl, a long list of studies has failed to prove ANY benefits of a low-salt diet, and in fact many tend to show the opposite. In addition to the ones already mentioned above, the following studies also came up with negative results:
· A 2004 meta analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed 11 salt-reduction trials and found that, in otherwise healthy people, over the long-term, low-salt diets decreased systolic blood pressure by 1.1 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure by 0.6 mmHg. That equates to reducing your blood pressure from 120/80 to 119/79.6 In conclusion, the authors stated that:
"Intensive interventions, unsuited to primary care or population prevention programs, provide only minimal reductions in blood pressure during long-term trials."
· A 2003 Cochrane review of 57 short-term studies concluded that "there is little evidence for long-term benefit from reducing salt intake."7
· A 2006 study in the American Journal of Medicine study compared the reported daily sodium intakes of 78 million Americans to their risk of dying from heart disease over the course of 14 years. The study concluded that lower sodium diets led to HIGHER mortality rates among those with cardiovascular disease, which "raised questions regarding the likelihood of a survival advantage accompanying a lower sodium diet."8
For an even more comprehensive list of research, please see this previous article.
Not All Salt is Created Equal
Not only is salt relatively benign, it's actually a nutritional goldmine, IF you consume the right kind. Modern table salt has very little in common with natural, unrefined salt. The first will damage you health while the latter is profoundly healing. Here's a quick break-down of their basic ingredients:
· Natural salt: 84 percent sodium chloride, 16 percent naturally-occurring trace minerals, including silicon, phosphorous and vanadium
· Processed (table) salt: 97.5 percent sodium chloride, 2.5 percent man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents and flow agents. These are dangerous chemicals like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate. A small amount of iodine may also be added
(Some European countries, where water fluoridation is not practiced, also add fluoride to table salt. In France, 35 percent of table salt sold contains either sodium fluoride or potassium fluoride and use of fluoridated salt is widespread in South America)
The processing also radically alters the structure of the salt. Refined table salt is dried above 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and this excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt.9
The Healing Benefits of Unrefined Natural Salt
Being a major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid Carrying nutrients into and out of your cells, and helping maintain your acid-base balance Increasing the glial cells in your brain, which are responsible for creative thinking and long-term planning. Both sodium and chloride are also necessary for the firing of neurons
Maintain and help regulate blood pressure Helping your brain communicate with your muscles, so that you can move on demand via sodium-potassium ion exchange Supporting the function of you adrenal glands, which produce dozens of vital hormones
Unrefined natural salt is important to many biological processes, however, for every gram of excess sodium chloride that your body has to neutralize, it uses up 23 grams of cellular water. Hence, eating too much common processed salt will cause fluid to accumulate in your tissues, which may contribute to:
· Unsightly cellulite
· Rheumatism, arthritis and gout
· Kidney and gall bladder stones
· Hypertension (high blood pressure)
The Importance of Maintaining Optimal Sodium-Potassium Ratio
While natural unprocessed salt has many health benefits and is indeed essential for life, that does not mean you should ingest it with impunity. Another important factor is the potassium to sodium ratio of your diet. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) but also contribute to a number of other diseases, including:
Heart disease and stroke, Memory decline, Osteoporosis, Ulcers and stomach cancer, Kidney stones, Cataracts, Erectile dysfunction, Rheumatoid arthritis
The easiest way to achieve this imbalance is by consuming a diet of processed foods, which are notoriously low in potassium while high in sodium… According to a 1985 article in The New England Journal of Medicine, titled "Paleolithic Nutrition," our ancient ancestors got about 11,000 mg of potassium a day, and about 700 mg of sodium.10 This equates to a potassium over sodium factor of nearly 16. Compare that to today's modern diet where daily potassium consumption averages about 2,500 mg (the RDA is 4,700 mg/day), along with 4,000 mg of sodium… If you eat a diet of processed foods, you can be virtually guaranteed that your potassium- sodium ratio is upside-down.
This may also explain why high-sodium diets appear to affect some people but not others. According to a recent federal study into sodium and potassium intake, those at greatest risk of cardiovascular disease were those who got too much sodium along with too little potassium. The research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in July of last year11, was one of the first and largest U.S. studies to evaluate the relationship of salt, potassium and heart disease deaths.
Mike Stobbe reported on the study in an article for the Huffington Post:12
"If you have too much sodium and too little potassium, it's worse than either one on its own," said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City's health commissioner, who has led efforts to get the public to eat less salt… "Potassium may neutralize the heart-damaging effects of salt," said Dr. Elena Kuklina, one of the study's authors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… The research found people who eat a lot of salt and very little potassium were more than twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those who ate about equal amounts of both nutrients. Such a dietary imbalance posed a greater risk than simply eating too much salt, according to the study."
So, how do you ensure you get these two important nutrients in more appropriate ratios? Ditch processed foods, which are very high in processed salt and low in potassium and other essential nutrients, and eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods, ideally organically-grown to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium.
About 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods and more than 75 percent of the sodium in the U.S. diet comes from processed foods, so it's easy to see how this kind of diet can lead to lopsided sodium-potassium ratios. Emerging evidence suggests that this ratio is actually crucial for improving health, and the way to optimize potassium intake is by increasing consumption of vegetables, which are the highest sources of potassium.
Why You Need Potassium…
Your body needs potassium to maintain proper pH levels in your body fluids, and it also plays an integral role in helping regulate your blood pressure. It is possible that potassium deficiency may be more responsible for hypertension, rather than excess sodium, as it also affects your:
· Bone mass
· Nervous system
· Muscle function
· Heart and kidney function
· Adrenal functions
Potassium deficiency can lead to electrolyte imbalance, and can result in a condition called hypokalemia. Symptoms include:
· Water retention
· Raised blood pressure and hypertension
· Heart irregularities/arrhythmias
· Muscular weakness and muscle cramps
· Continual thirst
· Constipation
Potassium-Rich Foods
I do not advise taking potassium supplements to correct a sodium-potassium imbalance. Instead, it is best to alter your diet and incorporate more potassium-rich whole foods. Some of the richest sources in potassium are:
1. Baked potato (1081 mg per potato) But limit as has high levels of starchy carbohydrate which can increase your insulin and leptin resistance
2. Lima beans (955 mg/cup)
3. Winter squash (896 mg/cup)
4. Cooked spinach (839 mg/cup)
Other potassium-rich fruits and vegetables include:
· Fruits: papayas, prunes, cantaloupe, and bananas. (But be careful of bananas as they are high in sugar and have half the potassium that an equivalent of amount of green vegetables. It is an old wives tale that you are getting loads of potassium from bananas, the potassium is twice as high in green vegetables.)
· Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, avocados, asparagus, and pumpkin
Fructose—a Far More Likely Culprit in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Avoiding processed foods will also help you avoid another primary risk factor for high blood pressure and heart disease, namely fructose. If you check the labels, you will find that virtually every single food and beverage you contemplate buying contains fructose, either in the form of high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, or some other version. The amounts of salt Americans consume pales in comparison to the amount of fructose eaten on a daily basis, and I'm convinced that it's the sugar/fructose consumption that is the major driving force behind our skyrocketing hypertension rates, not excess salt.
The connecting link between fructose consumption and hypertension lies in the uric acid produced. Uric acid is a byproduct of fructose metabolism, and increased uric acid levels effectively drive up your blood pressure.
The more you can move toward a diet of whole organic foods in their natural state, the healthier you'll be. And given that salt is essential to good health, I recommend switching to a pure, unrefined salt. My favorite is an all-natural sea salt from the Himalayas.
Himalayan salt is completely pure, having spent many thousands of years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from impurities, so it isn't polluted with the heavy metals and industrial toxins of today. It's hand-mined, hand-washed, and minimally processed, and contains some 84 different trace minerals. It's likely to be the most delicious salt you'll ever find, which is why it's so popular among gourmet chefs.
Relax, and Salt to Taste…
In the featured article Melinda Moyers writes:13
"… unless we have clear data, evangelical anti-salt campaigns are not just based on shaky science; they are ultimately unfair. "A great number of promises are being made to the public with regard to this enormous benefit and lives saved," Cohen says. But it is "based on wild extrapolations." "
I agree, and based on the evidence available, I think it's safe to just relax and salt your food to taste—provided you use a natural unrefined salt.
References:
· 1 Reduced Dietary Salt for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (Cochrane Review), American Journal of Hypertension, August 2011: 24(8); 843-53, R. S. Taylor, et al.
· 2 Fatal and Nonfatal Outcomes, Incidence of Hypertension, and Blood Pressure Changes in Relation to Urinary Sodium Excretion, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011: 305(17); 1777-1785, Katarzyna Stolarz-Skrzypek, MD, et al.
· 3 It's Time to End the War on Salt, Scientific American, July 8, 2011: Melinda Wenner Moyer.
· 4 The INTERSALT Study: Background, Methods, Findings, and Implications, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 1997: 65(2); 6265-6425, J. Stamler.
· 5 It's Time to End the War on Salt, Scientific American, July 8, 2011: Melinda Wenner Moyer.
· 6 The Long Term Effects of Advice to Cut Down on Salt in Food on Deaths, Cardiovascular Disease, and Blood Pressure in Adults, Cochrane Summaries, January 21, 2009: L. Hooper, et al.
· 7 The Long Term Effects of Advice to Cut Down on Salt in Food on Deaths, Cardiovascular Disease, and Blood Pressure in Adults, Cochrane Summaries, January 21, 2009: L. Hooper, et al.
· 8 Sodium Intake and Mortality in the NHANES II Follow-Up Study, American Journal of Medicine, March 2006: 119(3); 275.e7-14, H. W. Cohen, et al.
· 9 Process, SSP PVT Limited.
· 10 Paleolithic Nutrition – A Consideration of Its Nature and Current Implications, New England Journal of Medicine, January 31, 1985: 312; 283-289, S. Boyd Eaton, M.D. and Melvin Konner, Ph.D.
· 11 Sodium and Potassium Intake and Mortality Among US Adults, Archives of Internal Medicine, July 2011: 171(13); 1183-1191, Quanhe Yang, PhD, et al.
· 12 Why Your Sodium-Potassium Ratio Is So Important, Huffpost Healthy Living, July 11, 2011: Mike Stobbe.
· 13 It's Time to End the War on Salt, Scientific American, July 8, 2011: Melinda Wenner Moyer.
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The One and Only Way You Can Tell if a Food is GMO-Free
By Dr. Mercola
February 29 2012
A bill has recently been introduced in the Vermont state legislature that would require food to be labeled as genetically engineered if it is entirely or partially produced with genetically engineered ingredients.
If passed, the bill, H.722, also known as the 'VT Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act' i, will take effect in 2014.
The bill also forbids any such food from using advertising or promotional material that states or implies that the food is:
· "natural"
· "naturally made"
· "naturally grown"
· "all natural," or
· Any words of similar meaning
According to the language of the bill, it would require:
"... in the case of a raw agricultural commodity, on the package offered for retail sale ... the clear and conspicuous words, 'genetically engineered' on the front of the package ... [or] on a label appearing on the retail store shelf or bin in which such commodity is displayed for sale.
... in the case of any processed food, in clear and conspicuous language on the front or back of the package ... the words, 'partially produced with genetic engineering' or 'may be partially produced with genetic engineering'". ii
More U.S. States Starting to Demand Labeling of GM Foods
Finally we're starting to see some real opposition against genetically engineered foods in general, and unlabeled GMO's (genetically modified organisms) in particular, in the U.S.! Aside from this Vermont bill, California, Michigan and Washington are also working on ballot initiatives to get mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods in their states. Vermont takes it a step further though, as the legislation would effectively also end phony "all natural" claims for products that in actuality contain wholly unnatural, GMOs.
Personally, I believe GM foods must be banned entirely, but labeling is the most efficient way to achieve this. Since 85 percent of the public will refuse to buy foods they know to be genetically modified, this will effectively eliminate them from the market just the way it was done in Europe.
Sheer ignorance on the part of American consumers has allowed Monsanto and other biotech companies to saturate the market with their genetically altered wares. And misuse of the "all natural" label has only made matters worse. According to a 2010 Hartman Group poll, more than 60 percent of consumers erroneously believe that the "natural" label implies or suggests the absence of GM ingredients, but that is sadly NOT the case... In fact, at the current time, the ONLY label that can protect you against GM ingredients is the USDA 100% Organic label.
After reading the Cornucopia Institutes' 2011 report Cereal Crimesiii, many, including myself, were shocked to discover some of their favorite natural and even some organic brands were using GM ingredients! For example, natural products that contained 100 percent genetically modified grains included:
Kashi® Mother's® Nutritious Living® General Mills Kix® GoLean® Bumpers® Hi-Lo®
Two breakfast cereal products that are currently enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, Barbara's Bakery's Puffins and Whole Foods' 365® Corn Flakes, contained more than 50 percent GM corn. Meanwhile, the control, Nature's Path® USDA certified organic corn flakes, contained only trace amounts of GM contamination (less than 0.5 percent). Another sign that American consumers are getting fed up with being stonewalled on the GMO labeling issue is the fact that lawsuits are starting to crop up, accusing food manufacturers of deceptive and misleading practices over their "all natural" claims. Here are just a couple of recent examples:
· Frito-Lay is being sued by a New York consumer over their 'all natural' snacks that are actually made using GM ingredients, such as Tostitos and SunChipsiv
· On August 31, 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kellogg/Kashi® for allegedly misleading consumers with its "natural" claims. One Kashi® product in particular, GoLean® Shakes, is composed almost entirely of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients, according to the plaintiff
Why We MUST Insist on Mandatory Labeling of GM Foods
As I said earlier, mandatory labeling may be the only way to stop the proliferation of GM foods in the U.S. because while GM seeds are banned in several European countries such as Hungary, Germany and Ireland, in the United States, certain states are passing legislation that protects the use of GM seeds and allows for unabated expansion! At present, no less than 14 states have passed such legislation. Michigan's Senate Bill 777v, if passed, would make that 15. The Michigan bill would prevent anti-GMO laws, and would remove "any authority local governments may have to adopt and enforce ordinances that prohibit or regulate the labeling, sale, storage, transportation, distribution, use, or planting of agricultural, vegetable, flower or forest tree seeds."
While this type of legislation sounds like crazy nonsense to normal people, such bills are essentially bought and paid for through the millions of dollars Monsanto and other biotech companies spend lobbying the U.S. government each year. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $1.4 million on lobbying the federal government -- a drop from a year earlier, when they spent $2.5 million during the same quarter.
Their efforts of persuasion are also made infinitely easier by the fact that an ever growing list of former Monsanto employees are now in positions of power within the federal government.
Learn More about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods
Due to lack of labeling, many Americans are still unfamiliar with what GM foods are. We have a plan to change that, and I urge you to participate and to continue learning more about GM foods and helping your friends and family do the same.
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To start, please print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. You can also download a free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
Your BEST strategy, however, is to simply buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever possible, (as these do not permit GM ingredients) or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers. The majority of the GMO's you're exposed to are via processed foods, so by cooking from scratch with whole foods, you can be sure you're not inadvertently consuming something laced with GM ingredients. When you do purchase processed food, avoid products containing anything related to corn or soy that are not 100 percent organic, as any foods containing these two non-organic ingredients are virtually guaranteed to contain genetically engineered ingredients, as well as toxic herbicide residues.
To learn more about GM foods, I highly recommend the following films and lectures:
· Hidden Dangers in Kid's Meals
· Your Milk on Drugs - Just Say No!
· Everything You Have to Know About Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods
Your Opportunity to Eliminate Genetically Engineered Foods from the U.S.
In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to "immediately" require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.
Labeling of genetically engineered food is way overdue... Here's how you can get involved to rectify the situation:
· Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort
· Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.
· Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
· For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
· Look for in-depth coverage of the issue at the Institute for Responsible Technology, subscribe to Spilling the Beans, and check out their Facebook or Twitter.
In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid genetically engineered foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use genetically engineered organisms, must be produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and come from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed genetically engineered corn feed, although now that genetically engineered alfalfa is approved, grass-fed will not always mean they animals have not consumed genetically engineered feeds.vi
Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S., so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!
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Avoid This Food to Help Slow Aging
By Dr. Mercola
February 22 2012
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a complex group of compounds formed when sugar reacts with amino acids.
This can occur both in the food you eat, and inside your body.
It's is a fitting acronym because – along with oxidation – it's one of the major molecular mechanisms whereby damage accrues in your body, which leads to disease, aging, and eventually, death.
For example, there is mounting evidence that AGEs may be implicated in the development of the chronic degenerative diseases associated with aging, including but not limited to:
· Cardiovascular disease
· Alzheimer's disease, and
· Diabetes
Several studies have shown that restricting the consumption of AGEs can lead to an increased lifespan in animal models.
According to a paper that summarizes recent research on AGEs:
"... [T]he data are supportive that endogenous AGEs are associated with declining organ functioning. It appears that dietary AGEs may also be related.
... As of today, restriction of dietary intake of AGEs and exercise has been shown to safely reduce circulating AGEs, with further reduction in oxidative stress and inflammatory markers."
Why Limiting Sugar is Key for Longevity
Limiting sugar in your diet is a well-known key to longevity, because of all the molecules capable of inflicting damage in your body, sugar molecules are probably the most damaging of all. Fructose in particular is an extremely potent pro-inflammatory agent that creates AGEs and speeds up the aging process. It also promotes the kind of dangerous growth of fat cells around your vital organs that are the hallmark of diabetes and heart disease. In one study on fructose, 16 volunteers on a controlled diet including high levels of fructose produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs in just 10 weeks!
Sugar/fructose also increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones, and this is another major factor of premature aging and age-related chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease. Keep in mind that while it's perfectly normal for your blood sugar levels to rise slightly after every meal, it is not natural or healthy when your blood sugar levels become excessively elevated and stay that way.
Unfortunately, that's exactly what will happen if you're eating like the stereotypical American, who consumes a staggering 2.5 pounds of sugar a week on average!
And when you add in other low-quality carb foods such as white bread, sugar, pasta, pastries, cookies, and candy, which also break down to sugar in your body, it's not so difficult to see why so many Americans are in such poor health!
This type of high-sugar (high-carb) diet is also what's driving the obesity epidemic—not diets high in fat. An infographic created by Column Five for Massive Health, based on Why We Get Fat by science writer Gary Taubes, explains why. In short, carbs, like fructose and other sugars, destroy your insulin and leptin sensitivity, which in turn causes your cells to accumulate more fat, and makes it more difficult to get rid of the extra weight as well. So, the bottom line is this: If you want to look and feel younger longer, avoid all forms of sugar (including grains) as much as possible!
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Glycation 101
Fructose adversely affects your body in a number of ways, but one of the mechanisms that causes significant damage is glycation. As already mentioned, glycation is the process in which sugar bonds with protein to form advanced glycation end products, or AGEs.
This process creates inflammation, which can activate your immune system.
Macrophages are scavenger cells that are part of your immune defense system, and as such they have special receptors for AGEs, aptly called RAGEs (think: raging inflammation). These RAGEs bind to the AGEs in your body and get rid of them. Unfortunately, this defensive process can also cause its fair share of damage. Inside your arteries, for example, the scar tissue created from this process is called plaque.
You really want to limit the AGEs in your body as much as possible, so your immune system won't have to work so hard to defend against them. As a standard recommendation to limit glycation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day.
However, most people would be wise to limit their fructose to 15 grams or less, particularly if you have elevated uric acid levels, which can be used as a predictor for fructose toxicity. (For more information on this, please see this previous article.) This includes keeping track of your fructose intake from whole fruits. For additional information about the fructose content of common fruits, please see this helpful fructose chart. I recommend this lower level simply because if you consume processed foods or sweet beverages at all, you're virtually guaranteed to consume "hidden" sources of fructose.
Fructose Metabolism Basics
Anyone who still insists that "sugar is sugar" is way behind the times... There are in fact major differences in how your body processes different sugars, and it's important to understand that when you consume fructose, your body packs on pounds at a much higher rate than it does when you consume glucose. The following summary details the main metabolic differences between fructose and glucose to help you understand how fructose can wreak such havoc with your health, and why it's considerably worse for you than glucose.
· After eating fructose, nearly all of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
· Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is "burned up" immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is primarily converted into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
· The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
· Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
· When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Fructose is essentially largely converted into fat!
· The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which triggers your "fat switch," causing you to gain more weight.
· Glucose does not do this, as it suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.
How to Tame Your Sugar Cravings
As mentioned earlier, I recommend that you avoid as much sugar as possible. Do your best to keep your fructose consumption below 15-25 grams a day. This is especially important if you are overweight or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
Sugar is highly addictive, so cutting down can be a real challenge for some, especially if you're consuming very high amounts. If you're struggling with sugar addiction, I highly recommend trying an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many "soda addicts" kick their sweet habit. If you still want to use a sweetener occasionally, here's what I recommend in lieu of sugar:
1. Use the sweet herb stevia
2. Use organic cane sugar in moderation
3. Use organic raw honey in moderation
4. Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose
5. Avoid agave syrup since it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose. Your blood sugar will spike just as it would if you were consuming regular sugar or HFCS. Agave's meteoric rise in popularity is due to a great marketing campaign, but any health benefits present in the original agave plant are processed out
The Anti-Aging Lifestyle
Of all the healthy lifestyle strategies I know of that can have a significant impact on your longevity, normalizing your insulin and leptin levels is probably the most important. Cutting out sugar and grains and increasing
exercise are two effective ways to accomplish that.
But to truly optimize your longevity and slow down the clock, your entire lifestyle needs to be taken into account. So, here are the rest of my top "anti-aging" recommendations. Incorporating these healthy lifestyle guidelines will help set you squarely on the path to optimal health and give you the best shot at living a much longer life:
Learn how to effectively cope with stress – Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day, so developing effective coping mechanisms is a major longevity-promoting factor.
Meditation, prayer, physical activity and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden emotional problems.
Eat a healthy diet focused on whole, ideally organic, foods – My nutrition plan, based on natural whole foods, is your first step toward increasing your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels. This is another very powerful and inexpensive intervention that can have profound benefits on your health. In the summer you can do this for free by careful and safe sun exposure. In the winter a therapeutic level of oral vitamin D can be achieved with an oral supplement (around 8,000 units of vitamin D3 a day for most adults)
Animal based omega-3 fats – Correcting the ratio of omega-3 to healthful omega-6 fats is a strong factor in helping you live longer. This typically means increasing your intake of animal based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, while decreasing your intake of damaged omega-6 fats (think trans fats).
I do not, however, recommend the new prescription strength fish oil medication, sold under the name Lovaza. Don't be fooled by their "all-natural" PR campaign. This is actually a drug to treat very high triglyceride levels. However, as with most other drugs, Lovaza comes with potentially dangerous side effects that you would not experience with a natural fish oil or krill oil supplement. Side effects include flu-like symptoms, infections, back pain, skin rashes, upset stomach, taste changes, digestive issues, chest pain, migraines and respiratory problems!
Additionally, new research strongly suggests that 500 mg of krill oil is more potent and far less expensive.
Get your antioxidants from foods –Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans, and artichokes.
Use coconut oil – Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut oil, known to reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol, among other things. In fact, it's doubly beneficial because it can be both eaten and applied directly to your skin. Coconut oil can be used in place of other oils, margarine, butter, or shortening, and can be used for all your cooking needs.
Get your resveratrol naturally – Resveratrol is one of the forerunners in the anti-aging pill race, but more than likely, by the time they've manipulated it into a synthetic pill (like the fish oil discussed above), it won't be healthy for you.
Although resveratrol is the antioxidant found in red wine, I can't recommend drinking wine in the hopes of extending your life because alcohol is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and harm your body's delicate hormonal balance. Instead, get your resveratrol from natural sources, such as whole grape skins and seeds, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts.
Exercise regularly and smartly -- Studies repeatedly show that regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay your onset of hypertension, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and the falls that lead to hip fracture. Although a lifetime of regular exercise is ideal, it's never too late to start. It's been shown that even individuals in their 70's can substantially increase both strength and endurance with exercise.
High-intensity, interval training can also increase longevity as this specific style of training promotes human growth hormone production – yet another aspect of the longevity puzzle.
Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible – This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
Avoid pharmaceutical drugs – Pharmaceutical drugs kill thousands of people prematurely every year – as an expected side effect of the action of the drug. And, if you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need any of them in the first place.
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Did you know? Nearly all corn and soy products purchased at grocery stores are genetically modified and may place your health at risk
David Gutierrez, staff writer
Monday, January 30, 2012
(NaturalNews) More than 90 percent of all soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified (GM) for herbicide resistance and are consequently sprayed with massive quantities of those toxic chemicals. Fully 85 percent of all corn grown in the country is also genetically engineered, either for herbicide resistance or to produce pesticides within its tissues. Since farmers sell their corn and soy to large distributors who mix the product together for processing, this essentially means that 100 percent of non-organic corn and soy products on the US market are GM.
And since soy and corn derivatives are so ubiquitous in packaged food, the Grocery Manufacturers of America has estimated that as much as 80 percent of processed food on US shelves contains GM ingredients. This includes breakfast cereals and other products labeled "natural" or "all natural."  (http://www.naturalnews.com/033838_breakfast_cereals_GMOs.html)
GM crops are simply unsafe. They expose people to novel and potentially dangerous allergens and to higher levels of pesticides. Animals grazing on GM crops have died from ruptured internal organs. Yet this is the type of food making up 80 percent of packaged food today, and the only way to avoid it is to buy organic food or grow your own.
Tip: Foods labeled USDA Organic do not contain any substantial level of genetically engineered ingredients, but due to cross-contamination of crops, even organic products almost always contain trace levels of GMOs.
Source: 25 Amazing Facts About Food, authored by Mike Adams and David Guiterrez. This report reveals surprising things about where your food comes from and what's really in it! Download the full report (FREE) by clicking here: http://www.naturalnews.com/RR-25_Amazing_Facts_About_Food.html . Inside, you'll learn 24 more amazing but true facts about foods, beverages and food ingredients. Instant download of the complete PDF. All 25 facts are documented and true.
Additional Sources:
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Sidestep These Veggies - Even if They're Organic
By Dr. Mercola
February 08 2012
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Videos like the two featured above have started making the rounds online, raising questions about what exactly that plastic-looking "peel" found on some fresh produce might be.
Let me preface this article by saying that I do not have the answer, but I will present a couple of theories here.
Fruits and vegetables—apparently even organically-grown varieties—may have cow-, pig-, and chicken collagen coatings on them rather than wax, as well as a number of other unsavory ingredients.
Wax was first applied to the skins of fruits and vegetables for longer shelf life hundreds of years ago.
Today, that tradition is being carried on with a new generation of chemicals and compounds I'd rather NOT have on my fresh produce...
Modified Atmospheric Packaging
While I normally do not feature blog posts, this instance is a rare exception, as I thought this Reality Blog report contained quite a bit of worth-while details. In response to one of the videos above, this blogger dug up information about so-called 'modified atmosphere packaging' that could offer one potential explanation for the bizarre plastic-like coating found on lettuce:
"... [M]odified atmosphere packaging (MAP) ... involves either actively or passively controlling or modifying the atmosphere surrounding the product within a package made of various types and/or combinations of films ... Edible films may consist of four basic materials: lipids, resins, polysaccharides and proteins ... The most common plasticizer used to cast edible films is food-grade polyethylene glycol, which is used to reduce film brittleness ... Gelatin is ... extracted from the boiled crushed bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, and pigs."
So, could that rubbery peel be a form of sprayed-on MAP, designed to prolong shelf life of fresh produce? As detailed by Reality Blog, this certainly seems like one reasonable conclusion.
Edible "Invisible Packaging" is More Common than You Might Think
According to the FDA, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), which includes so-called "smart" and "edible" types of packaging, has made great strides over the past decade or so, and has "greatly improved the quality and shelf-stability" of otherwise highly perishable produce. This type of packaging can be either "active" or "passive."
The FDA explains:
"Active modification occurs by the displacement of gases in the package, which are then replaced by a desired mixture of gases, while passive modification occurs when the product is packaged using a selected film type, and a desired atmosphere develops naturally as a consequence of the products' respiration and the diffusion of gases through the film. ... Reducing the rate of respiration by limiting O2 (dioxygen) prolongs the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by delaying the oxidative breakdown of the complex substrates which make up the product. Also, O2 concentrations below 8% reduce the production of ethylene, a key component of the ripening and maturation process."
Essentially, by spraying a substance on the fresh produce, which forms a thin film, oxygen levels can be limited, which slows down the ripening process. So what might this "edible" film substance be comprised of? The list of potential ingredients is a long one, and will vary from product to product, but can be generally divided into four basic materials:
Lipids (waxes, oils, stearic acid)
Resins (such as shellac and wood rosin)
Polysaccharides (such as cellulose, pectin, starch, carrageenan, and chitosan)
Proteins (such as casein, soy, and corn-zein)
Common additives to these base materials include:
Plasticizers (such as polyethylene glycol, glycerol, and "other cross-linking agents")
Antimicrobials
Antioxidants
Texturizers (to customize the film for the particular product)
The FDA's web page on MAP's offers one fairly detailed example of a concoction used on tomatoes to successfully extend their shelf life: Most of us are used to thinking about pesticide residues when purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables, but few probably consider that ON TOP of that, there's an additional layer of miscellaneous resins and plasticizers...
"Park and others (1994) reported the successful application of a corn-zein film to extend the shelf life of tomatoes. Color change, loss of firmness, and weight loss during storage were delayed, and shelf life was extended by 6 days in comparison to untreated tomatoes. The corn-zein product used in the above study was a commercial product that was brushed onto the tomatoes, and consisted of 54 grams of corn-zein, 14 grams of glycerine, and 1 gram of citric acid dissolved in 260 grams of ethanol."
Is it Safe to Eat?
Edible coatings probably won't kill you, but if you have a choice, why would you opt to eat fruits and vegetables that have been coated in a rubbery film? And, these types of coatings DO present a very real potential health hazard. The FDA openly admits that edible coatings have been associated with a number of problems:
"For example, modification of the internal gas composition of the product due to high CO2 and low O2 can cause problems such as anaerobic fermentation of apples and bananas, rapid weight loss of tomatoes, elevated levels of core flush for apples, rapid decay in cucumbers, and so on," the FDA states.
Furthermore:
"... [A]t extremely low O2 levels (that is, <1%), anaerobic respiration can occur, resulting in tissue destruction and the production of substances that contribute to off-flavors and off-odors, as well as the potential for growth of foodborne pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum."
This may help explain why fresh produce has managed to be the source of several outbreaks of food poisoning in the past several years. To combat the growth of foodborne pathogens, antimicrobial agents are added, such as:
"...metal ions supported in zeolite, isothiocyanate in cyclodextrin with cobalt ion, chitosan, allyl isothiocyanate, silver-based fungicide, quaternary ammonium salt, organic monoglycerides, copper and zinc, benzoic acid, sodium benzoate, sorbic acid and potassium sorbate and propionic acid. Researchers are also currently looking at the use of nisin, a bacteriocin, in coatings to suppress L. monocytogenes, as well as other bacteriocins for the control of C. botulinum. Successful applications of this technology have been demonstrated using sodium caseinate/stearic acid to coat peeled carrots and caseinate/acetylated monoglyceride to coat celery sticks."
The "Epidermal Peel" Theory
Another theory floating about is that this coating isn't really a coating at all, but rather an entirely natural occurrence, referred to as "epidermal peel," caused by cold weather. Lettuces in particular appear to be affected in this way when exposed to frost conditions. Epidermal peel can be likened to "chapped lips," in that the outer layer of a leaf will get damaged by freezing temperatures, causing a layer to peel away from the leaf. This peeling is typically considered unsightly, and harvesters will typically remove as many of the affected leaves as possible.
But while it sounds like what we're seeing in the featured videos could be epidermal peeling, is it really?
Unfortunately, I've not been able to find any kind of visual example of this naturally-occurring epidermal peeling to compare it with what we're seeing in the videos. In one 2011 Produce Report, the damage is described as follows, which leads me to think that what these consumers found is NOT epidermal peeling, but rather some form of MAP coating:
"Freezing causes blisters to form on the frost affected areas of Iceberg and Romaine lettuce. These blisters pop and then peel as the plant continues to grow. The epidermal peel discolors and eventually leads to decay. Harvest crews work at a reduced pace to remove all affected leaves before packing. The result is smaller heads, lighter weights and pale color."
How Can You Avoid Produce Coated in "Edible Plastic"?
Whatever the truth is with regards to the featured videos, one thing is for sure: MAP films are definitely being used on fresh produce, both conventional and organically-grown. Once you understand the reason WHY fresh foods are coated, the answer to how to avoid them becomes rather self-evident... Fresh fruits and vegetables of all kinds are "preserved" in this way in order to remain sellable even after lengthy transportation.
If you buy your produce from a local farm, they naturally will not need to process any of their foods in such a manner. This is yet another great reason to buy locally-farmed foods, even if it's not certified organic—although that would certainly be ideal. Still, fresh, non-coated/non-treated vegetables that have been grown conventionally will likely be healthier for you than wilted organic veggies from across the world, coated with plasticizers to keep them looking fresh...
Eight Guidelines for REAL Healthful Food
In your search for healthy food to feed your family, here is what to look for, whether you're at the grocery store or farmers' market. Foods that meet these standards will almost always be a wise choice:
Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
Not genetically modified
Contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
Does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives (for fresh produce, you can now add the presence of MAP coatings or 'edible packaging')
Fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
Did not come from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO, a.k.a. factory farm)
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)
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)
Grow Your Own
Here is my raised vegetable bed where I have planted two types of kale, collards greens, parsley and a variety of lettuces. Just planted it two weeks ago but should be able to start harvesting very soon. You can see my black composter directly below the second palm on the left. This is where I recycle the pulp from my veggies and other compostable food wastes that would normally go to the landfill.
Starting your own garden is another option. It may sound intimidating, but really all you need is a small plot of land (or several containers), some healthy soil, and the will to do it. Naturally, I encourage you to use only organic gardening methods. Once you get used to it, organic gardening is just as easy as conventional. For instance, you can make a homemade garden spray that will discourage most pests by combining mashed garlic paste with a little cayenne pepper or horseradish. Add a small amount to a gallon jug of water and let it sit for a day or two, shaking it occasionally. Just spray a small amount onto a few leaves first to make sure it's not so strong that it will burn them.
If you're not sure where to begin, Better Homes & Gardens has a free All-American Vegetable Garden Plan that can be put into a 6x6 area. It's a great starting point for beginners. For more tips, the following Web sites offer helpful advice and guidelines for the organic gardener:
OrganicGardening.com
BeyondPesticides.org
Where to Find Locally-Grown Foods
If eating locally is new to you, rest assured that you can find a source near you, regardless of whether you're in a remote or rural area or a big city. Here's a list of helpful resources:
Another great web site is www.localharvest.org. There you can find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
Subscribe to a community supported agriculture program (CSA). Some are seasonal while others are year round programs. Once you subscribe, many will drop affordable, high quality locally-grown produce right at your door step. To find a CSA near you, go to the USDA's website where you can search by city, state, or zip code.
Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
FoodRoutes. Their "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSA's, and markets near you.
For an even more comprehensive list of CSA's and a host of other sustainable agriculture programs, check out this link: http://www.mercola.com/article/agriculture.aspx to my Sustainable Agriculture page.
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This Food Robs Your Brain Power - Avoid It for Clearer Thinking
Posted By Dr. Mercola
January 23 2012
Story at-a-glance
Wheat and other glutinous grains are probably the worst starches to consume, in terms of metabolic impact versus micronutrient benefit, and many are heavy in toxins
Most people will need some starchy carbohydrates for optimal health; the optimal amount appears to be about 20 to 30 percent of your total caloric intake, or approximately 200 calories per day for the average person
The most important consideration is that your carbohydrate sources are as organic and unprocessed as possible, free of pesticides and chemical additives, and not genetically modified
Studies now demonstrate that your child’s diet has a direct impact on his or her cognitive function, and that both quality and quantity of carbohydrates are important
By Dr. Mercola
Grains should represent a small part of your diet, regardless of your age. I personally seek to avoid most grains, except rice.
But if you're going to eat some grain-based foods, how much is too much?
This debate heated up earlier this year when two nutritional experts, Dr. Paul Jaminet and Dr. Ron Rosedale, engaged in a debate over how many starches are too many.
Dr. Rosedale believes there is no such thing as a "safe starch" and that all starchy carbohydrates should be avoided, which of course includes all grains.
Dr. Jaminet, on the other hand, is a little more forgiving of some of the "safer starches," such as potatoes and rice. He believes some people need a small amount of these in their diets.
This is an interesting debate.
It's well thought out and well articulated, but quite lengthy.
If you have time, I do recommended your reading through all of it to see the nuances of their contrasting views.
Controversial Carbs
The amount of carbohydrates one should consume for optimal health is a widely controversial topic. Fortunately we can gain some insights as to how much we might need by examining a child's diet, which is critically important for proper brain development. As you would expect, the quality of a child's diet will directly affect his or her cognitive functioning. Two recent studies highlight just how important this is.
STUDY #1: In the first study, Japanese researchers analyzed the relationship between breakfast staples and intelligence in children. They divided 290 healthy children into three groups according to their breakfast staple—rice, bread, or both. What they found was that children in the rice group had significantly more gray matter in their brains and showed a higher perceptual organization index, which is a component of intelligence. This supports the theory that children's breakfast choices affect their cognitive function.
According to the study:
"... [O]ne possible mechanism underlying the difference between the bread and the rice groups may be the difference in the glycemic index (GI) of these two substances; foods with a low GI are associated with less blood-glucose fluctuation than are those with a high GI."
STUDY #2: A 2011 cross-sectional study in Tehran, Iran, examined the relationship between long-term refined carbohydrate intake and non-verbal intelligence among 6 to 7-year-old schoolchildren. Researchers found that refined carbohydrate consumption and non-verbal IQ were inversely related for these Tehrani children. In other words, the more refined carbs the children were eating, the lower their non-verbal IQs. So how much starch is too much starch for breakfast—or any other meal, for that matter?
My Personal Experience with an Ultra-Low Carb Diet
After trying both approaches, my experience suggests that Dr. Jaminet's position is more clinically relevant. The challenge is that most people will not be able to lower their carb level to the below 20 percent suggested by Dr. Rosedale. This very low level is a long reach from the average American diet, which is actually around 50 percent carbohydrate—it is simply too hard. Achieving Dr. Jaminet's far more carb-liberal recommendations will be enough of a challenge for most.
When I eliminated all my grains and starchy vegetables, I actually experienced some negative effects. My energy levels declined considerably, and my cholesterol, which is normally about 150, rose to over 200. It appears I was suffering a glucose deficiency and this can trigger lipoprotein abnormalities. It also seemed to worsen my kidney function. So, while carbohydrate restriction is a miracle move for most people, like most good things in life, you can overdo it.
This information really underscores how important glucose is as a nutrient, and some people can't manufacture glucose from protein as well as others, so they need SOME starches in their diet or else they will suffer from metabolic stress.
About half of your proteins have glucose attached to them, and if they don't have glucose, they simply don't work well, if at all. Your body needs glucose both as a substrate and as a fuel in order for these proteins to work well. If you drop below 200 calories of glucose per day, you might notice some negative consequences in the way you feel and even in some of your blood work, as I did.
My experience now shows me that I need to have some source of non-vegetable carbs. I still seek to avoid nearly all grains, except for rice and potatoes. I typically limit my total carbohydrate calories to about 25 percent of total daily intake, and my protein to about 15 percent, with the additional 60 percent coming from healthful fats like butter, egg yolks, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and animal fat.
However, that is what works for me. You must listen to YOUR body and perform your own experiment. The bottom line is how your body responds, and you're the ONLY one who can determine that.
So, if you are going to try eating some grain-based foods, which ones are the least likely to cause a problem? How damaging is wheat versus rice? Or potatoes? Before casting a vote on this, it is important to understand how grains contain different amounts and types of natural toxins that can create problems with your health.
Avoid Carbs that are Loaded with Toxins
Aside from providing excessive calories as carbohydrates, one of the major adverse consequences of most grains is that they are loaded with toxins. In fact, as you'll learn in the interview above, the average person gets about 1.5 grams of natural food toxins daily, which makes up more than 99.9 percent of all the toxins ingested. These are toxins made by plants, as opposed to manmade toxins, which serve to protect the plant from being eaten by mammals.
The one grain type that is virtually toxin free is white rice, which has far fewer toxins than brown rice. The vast majority of toxins in white rice are destroyed by cooking, which is why white rice is the only grain Dr. Jaminet recommends. One of the grain toxins with which you may be familiar is gluten.
"Gluten" comes from the Latin word for glue, so named because its adhesive properties hold bread and other baked goods together. Gluten is present in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. The glue-like properties interfere with the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, including the nutrients from other foods in the same meal. The result is a sticky, constipating lump in your gut, rather than a nutritious, easily digested meal.
This undigested glutinous gut-bomb may trigger your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine, causing diarrhea or constipation, nausea, and/or abdominal pain. Severe reactions are classified as "celiac disease," and milder reactions fall under the category of "gluten intolerance." Over time, your small intestine can become increasingly damaged and less able to absorb nutrients, such as iron and calcium. This in turn can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and other health problems.
Modern wheat (and other grains) differs greatly from the wheat our ancestors ate. The proportion of gluten protein in wheat has increased enormously as a result of hybridization. Legumes are also loaded with lectins, which is why most who follow a Paleo type diet avoid them.
Lectins: The Plant Kingdom's Weapon of Mass Destruction
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Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are widespread in the plant kingdom. Plants produce lectins to ward off their natural enemies, such as fungi and insects. However, lectins are not just the nemesis of fungi and insects, but are also plaguing humans. Please refer to the excellent video above by Chris Meletis, ND, who discusses the many dangers posed by these glycoproteins.
There are many types of lectins.
Some lectins (including those in wheat) bind to specific receptor sites on your intestinal mucosal cells and interfere with the absorption of nutrients across your intestinal wall and into your blood. So, they act as "antinutrients."
Lectins are proteins that are looking to hook up with carbohydrates in your body. C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation, is one example of the many lectins you have circulating right now. Lectins are also used to determine blood type. Lectins trigger inflammation, stimulate a hyper-immune response, and increase your blood viscosity—all conditions that can predispose you to disease.
Wheat Lectin (WGA) is Cytotoxic, Neurotoxic, Cardiotoxic and Immunotoxic
Wheat lectin, or "wheat germ agglutinin" (WGA), is largely responsible for many of wheat's pervasive ill effects. WGA is highest in whole wheat, especially sprouted whole wheat, but wheat isn't the only grain with significant lectin. All seeds of the grass family (rice, wheat, spelt, rye, etc.) are high in lectins.
WGA has the potential to damage your health by the following mechanisms (list is not all-inclusive):
Pro-Inflammatory: WGA lectin stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers, even at very small concentrations
Immunotoxic: WGA lectin may bind to and activate white blood cells
Neurotoxic: WGA lectin can pass through your blood-brain barrier and attach to the protective coating on your nerves, known as the myelin sheath. It is also capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor, which is important for the growth, maintenance, and survival of certain neurons
Cardiotoxic: WGA lectin induces platelet aggregation and has a potent disruptive effect on tissue regeneration and removal of neutrophils from your blood vessels
Cytotoxic (Toxic to cells): WGA lectin may induce programmed cell death (apoptosis)
Research also shows that WGA may disrupt endocrine and gastrointestinal function, interfere with genetic expression, and share similarities with certain viruses.
The following foods contain chitin-binding lectins, which are very similar to wheat lectin:
Barley
Rye
Tomato
Chitins are the primary binding target of wheat lectin; therefore, wheat lectin and chitin-binding lectin are functionally identical. This could be important information if you are struggling with celiac disease or other gastrointestinal issues. For a complete understanding about chitin-binding lectins, please read this article by Sayer Ji.
If You're Sugar Sensitive, Beware of the SWEET Potato
Although sweet potatoes have some excellent nutritional components and are considered a "safe starch" by Dr. Jaminet, many people have problems from eating them because of their high fructose content. Dr. Jaminet actually recommends white potatoes over sweet potatoes. There are many different varieties of sweet potato, all varying in sugar content. An article on the Perfect Health Diet website discusses the difference between conventional sweet potatoes and other varieties.
The American sweet potato has been literally bred for sweetness. If you are trying to tease out the nuances of your potential carbohydrate foods, it's worth noting the differences in the varieties.
The American sweet potato has nearly half the sugar content (6.5g per 100g) of grapes (15.5g per 100g). They are sort of half fruit, half starch! By contrast, yams are far less sweet, with only 0.5g of sugar per 100g. White potatoes actually contain more sugar than yams, at 1.2 g.
The Bottom Line
My conclusion is that there is a certain minimum carbohydrate threshold that you should not drop below. The sweet spot for most is 20 to 30 percent of your diet as carbs, but most likely 25 to 30 percent. Most of those calories can come from non-starchy vegetables, but you'll probably need some starchy carbs, such as white potatoes or white rice, and starchy vegetables like carrots and squash.
Breast milk is considered by many to be the perfect food for infants. Breast milk is 40 percent carbohydrate, which is great for babies because they have an increased glucose demand related to their rapid brain development. Adults simply need less.
Regardless of which starchy foods you put on your plate, make sure they are as organic and unprocessed as possible, free of pesticides and chemical additives and NOT genetically modified. I believe that low toxicity, high quality nutrient-dense foods are the MOST important consideration for you and your child's optimal health, as well as your child's brain development.
Regardless of your dietary choices, please remember to ALWAYS listen to your body, as it will give you feedback about whether or not the approach you've chosen is right for your unique biochemistry and genetics. Listen to that feedback and adjust your program accordingly.
For more information on this topic, you can follow the still-ongoing discussion between Dr. Rosedale and Dr. Jaminet in the Perfect Health Diet: Safe Starches Symposium.
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Vitamin B12 and folic acid prevent memory loss and improve cognition as we age
by: John Phillip
Friday, January 06, 2012
(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Australian National University have shown that essential B vitamins combat stress that results in a loss of memory and normal thought patterns that cause abnormal brain aging. Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found that long-term supplementation of daily folic acid and vitamin B-12 promotes improvement in cognitive functioning after a period of two years, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance. B vitamins are crucial for nerve transmission and are needed in higher amounts as your stress level increases. Health-minded adults will want to ensure that they obtain an optimal daily dose of these important vitamins from diet or supplemental sources.
The study leader, Dr. Janine Walker and her team conducted a two year intervention among elderly participants confined in a community-dwelling environment. All participants exhibited symptoms of depression and were under moderate stress due to environmental and lifestyle conditions. The study was designed to determine if nutritional intervention could prevent cognitive decline under randomized and controlled conditions.
Folic acid and vitamin B-12 fight brain stress and inflammation in the elderly
Researchers supplemented one group of study volunteers with an oral dosage of 400 micrograms of folic acid and 100 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily. This group was compared against a control set of participants that received a placebo. The results were measured at twelve- and twenty-four month intervals using the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status Standardized Test and the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (to determine processing speed). An Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly was administered at two years to provide a final analysis of cognitive function.
The study authors found that the group receiving the supplemental B-vitamins experienced significantly better memory function when compared to the control subjects. The research team determined that stress results in inflammation to neuron structures in the brain and inhibits electrical and chemical transmissions between nerves that are required to form new memories and maintain a healthy degree of cognitive function. The body uses B-vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B-12, to fight brain inflammation and ensure proper brain communications.
After the two-year study period, Dr. Walker concluded "Long-term supplementation of daily oral 400 mcg folic acid and 100 mcg vitamin B-12 promotes improvement in cognitive functioning after 24 months, particularly in immediate and delayed memory performance." The entire family of B-vitamins has been shown to lower the impact of brain stress and inflammation. Health-conscious adults will want to combine a daily supply of B-vitamins with the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA to dramatically lower the risk of memory loss and cognitive decline.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted.
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The Horrible "Immune System Mistake" Millions Will Make This Year
Posted By Dr. Mercola
January 03 2012
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/03/flu-shot-increase-flu.aspx?e_cid=20120103_DNL_art_1                                                                                                                                           
Story at a Glance: New research in the Journal of Virology found that the seasonal flu vaccine may weaken children’s immune systems and potentially increase their chances of catching other influenza viruses Children who did not receive a flu shot naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to vaccinated children There are many unanswered questions about whether or not the flu shot is safe and effective as more studies are published showing it is neither It is primarily the state of your health and immune system that determines whether or not you will get sick from being exposed to viral or bacterial organisms associated with infectious diseases like the flu. While healthy lifestyle choices will boost your immunity, vaccinations can be immune-suppressing.
Before you decide to get a flu shot for yourself or your child, take a few minutes to look into the research on both their effectiveness and safety.
What you will find may very well impact your decision.
Case in point, new research in the Journal of Virology found that the seasonal flu vaccine may weaken children's immune systems and increase their chances of getting sick from influenza viruses not included in the vaccine.
Further, when blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children and 14 children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the former unvaccinated group naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the latter vaccinated group.
Unfortunately, the pattern with many doctors aggressively promoting vaccinations, the flu shot included, is to "shoot first" and ask questions later.
The truth is there are many unanswered questions about whether or not the flu shot is safe and effective, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends them for everyone over the age of 6 months, nonetheless.
As ABC News reported, the study's lead author noted:
"Annual vaccination against influenza … may have potential drawbacks that have previously been underappreciated and that are also a matter of debate."
Warning: All Vaccines Compromise Natural Immunity
The more vaccines are studied, the more apparent it becomes that proper vaccine studies are lacking, as vaccine expert and pediatrician Larry Palevsky explains. There is a major difference between natural acquired immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. Obtaining natural immunity has far greater benefits, but this fact seems to be completely overlooked in the United States, considering it's recommended that U.S. babies receive 26 doses of vaccines before age 1 (which, incidentally, is twice as many vaccinations as are given to babies in Sweden and Japan).
When children are born, they develop natural immunity to a large variety of microorganisms that they breathe, eat, and touch.
The immune responses initiated by cells lining their airways, skin and intestines are very important in creating "memory" and protection against the microorganisms they naturally come into contact with every day. That primary line of defense is a very important step in the maturation of your child's immune system—and it's bypassed when he/she gets a vaccine.
With vaccination, you are merely creating an antibody, but as the Journal of Virology study showed, the unvaccinated children actually built up more antibodies against a wider variety of flu virus strains than the vaccinated children!
Vaccines usually do not impart long-term immunity because they don't create the kind of memory that occurs when you go through the process of a natural immune response. Natural exposure does not necessarily lead to infection—it is possible to obtain natural immunity without actually getting sick, if your immune system is functioning well. In fact, vaccines do NOT strengthen the healthy functioning of the immune system, but actually weaken it.
Past Research Shows Flu Shot May Double Your Risk of Catching Another Type of Flu
ALL vaccines are immune suppressing, meaning they affect immune function for a period of time and can make some people more susceptible to coming down with a viral or bacterial infection.. The chemicals, adjuvants, lab altered viruses and bacteria and foreign DNA/RNA from animal and human cell substrates in the vaccines may compromise immune system function and depress immunity -- that is the trade-off you are risking.
The conventional belief is that it is acceptable to exchange this small overall immune suppression for immunity to one infectious disease. However, remember that this means you're trading a total immune system suppression, which is your main defense against ALL known disease -- including millions of pathogens -- for a temporary immunity against just one disease.
This may help explain why people who get a flu shot may actually be more likely to acquire an infection from another virus, as was shown to be the case with H1N1 (swine flu).
Back in the spring of 2009, just when the swine flu hysteria was building, a Canadian study revealed that people, who had received a regular, seasonal flu shot, were twice as likely to catch swine flu. This was initially passed off as unproven but, lo and behold, in 2010 the results of several epidemiologic investigations revealed that seasonal flu shot DID increase the risk of catching swine flu.
The four studies, which were conducted by public health agencies in Canada, involved about 2,700 people in all, and each one had the same result: if you got the seasonal flu shot, you were more likely to get the swine flu. The researchers wrote in PLoS Medicine:
" … Estimates from all four studies (which included about 1,200 laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 cases and 1,500 controls) showed that prior recipients of the 2008–09 TIV [seasonal flu shot] had approximately 1.4–2.5 times increased chances of developing pH1N1 illness that needed medical attention during the spring–summer of 2009 compared to people who had not received the TIV."
The researchers stopped short of stating that a causal relationship had been established, saying instead that there could have been unidentified factors within the groups studied that accounted for the increase. However, it is certainly plausible that the seasonal vaccine modified people's immune systems in such a way that made them less able to fight off H1N1, similar to what researchers recently reported in the Journal of Virology.
Does the Flu Shot Even Work?
You would probably think that, since the CDC states the annual flu vaccine is the "best" way to avoid catching the seasonal flu, that it has been proven to be effective. However, it is hard to find ANY valid scientific evidence to support flu vaccine effectiveness or safety -- and this is particularly true for key target groups for which the CDC says the flu shot is most important, like seniors, children and pregnant women!
For instance, a large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo in preventing influenza in children under two. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.
In 2010, Cochrane also reviewed the available scientific evidence that flu shots protect the elderly, and the results were abysmal. The authors concluded that:
"The available evidence is of poor quality and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older."
Then there is the new study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, which reveals that the flu vaccine prevents lab confirmed type A or type B influenza in only 1.5 out of every 100 vaccinated adults … although the media is reporting this to mean "60 percent effective," depending on how you use the statistics, the study confirmed that flu shots provide only "moderate protection" against the flu, and in some seasons protection is altogether "reduced or absent."
The risk you take for this marginal or "absent" protection can be steep.
In the video below, Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), interviewed a Connecticut artist and her mother, a former professor of nursing, who developed GBS after getting a seasonal flu shot in 2008 and, today, is permanently disabled with total body paralysis. This family has chosen to share their heartbreaking story to help those who have had the same experience feel less alone, and to educate others about what it means to be vaccine injured. What happened to this family is a potent reminder of just how important it is to make well-informed decisions about vaccinations.
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Do You Really Want to Avoid the Flu This Winter?
Ultimately, it is the health of your immune system that determines whether or not you will get sick from being exposed to viral or bacterial organisms associated with infectious diseases like the flu or experience complications.
The key to boosting your immune system into a "lean, mean, disease-fighting machine" lies in your lifestyle habits -- healthy food, stress relief, exercise, sleep, and safe exposure to sunlight, among other things. Artificially manipulating your immune system with a vaccine to try to stay healthy is not a normal physiological response despite what the media or your doctor may say, and may actually suppress your immune system and make you less healthy in the long run.
Since numerous studies show that vitamin D boosts immunity, particularly vitamin D3, the first thing you want to do is make sure you maintain your vitamin D levels at 50-70 ng/ml year-round. The only way you can be sure of what your levels are is to be tested. For an in-depth explanation of everything you need to know before you get tested, please read my latest updates in Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency. My free one-hour vitamin D lecture can also help you optimize your levels.
While a supplement is OK, the best way to get your vitamin D is with safe exposure to sunshine, or by using a safe tanning bed (one with electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, to avoid unnecessary exposure to EMF fields). Other healthy steps you can take include eating healthy, avoiding sugars and artificial sweeteners, exercising, reducing stress and getting enough sleep. I address these issues in my free nutrition plan here, and you can read my full guidelines for preventing colds and the flu here.
What You Can Do To Make a Difference
While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and legal vaccine exemptions, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org not only gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community, but when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips to make sure your voice is heard.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
Write or email your elected state representatives and share your concerns. Call them, or better yet, make an appointment to visit them in person in their office. Don't let them forget you!
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with each other, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.
I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.
We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mass vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or government officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One that Will Listen and Care
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.
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Chiropractors and Naturopaths - Are They Dangerous?
By Dr. Mercola
December 30 2011
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The medical profession has a long history of opposing alternative healing professions.
While always claiming public safety as its reason for the attacks, the true reasons often involve protecting their monopoly of the healthcare market.
Medicine's opposition to chiropractic was its strongest under the leadership of Morris Fishbein, Secretary of the American Medical Association from 1924 to 1949, who led a 50-year anti-chiropractic campaign in both professional publications and the public media.
Historical Antitrust Lawsuits Against Medical Societies
In 1975 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Goldfarb vs. the Virginia State Bar, that learned professions are not exempt from antitrust suits.
In 1982 the Court ruled that the FTC could enforce antitrust laws against medical societies.
These two suits paved the way for five chiropractors to file an anti-trust suit against the American Medical Association (AMA) and several other heath care agencies and societies in Federal District Court (known as the Wilkes Case).
Judge Susan Getzendanner found the AMA and others guilty of an illegal conspiracy against the chiropractic profession in September of 1987, ordering a permanent injunction against the AMA and forcing them to print the court's findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Even with success of the Wilkes Case and other anti-trust litigation, the AMA continues to this day to wage a campaign against chiropractic.
The American Medical Association (AMA) has maintained a decades-long battle against "alternative" healing traditions, dating back to the 1920s and arguably even earlier. The courts eventually ruled in favor of the chiropractors in 1987, finding the AMA guilty of a conspiracy to take down the chiropractic profession, as the above article recounts in detail.
But was this the end of it? Has the AMA resigned itself to the fact that chiropractic, as well as other forms of natural medicine, are here to stay? Not a chance.
The AMA's Bedfellows
Even with the success of the Wilkes Case, the AMA has continued to wage war against natural medicine for the past 20 years—but in more covert ways. It's the "Cold War" phase of this battle, but every bit as fierce. And now the AMA has rallied up a few significant allies, including:
The American Dental Association (ADA)
The American Cancer Society (ACS)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and
The American Psychiatric Association (APA)
… not to mention governmental regulatory agencies; all willing to march toward a common goal—a monopoly on medical care in this country. Together, they form a formidable lobbying force that controls just about every regulatory and legislative body in America. The truth is that chiropractic, naturopathic, and osteopathic medicine have PROVEN to be medically effective and cost effective for the patient, and the AMA can't stomach this, viewing natural medicine as a huge threat to their bottom line.
Federal Courts Rule AMA "Guilty as Charged"
In 1987, the federal courts found the AMA and several other medical groups guilty of seeking to create a healthcare monopoly. Specifically, they were found guilty of the following actions (published in the January 1988 issue of JAMA):
Systematic defamation of naturopathic, chiropractic, and osteopathic physicians
Publishing and distribution of propaganda specifically intended to ruin other healthcare professionals' reputations
Forcing MDs to refuse collaboration with naturopathic, chiropractic, and osteopathic physicians in the co-management of patients
Denying hospital access to naturopathic, chiropractic, and osteopathic physicians
The attack on osteopathic medicine has largely faded away since then, but chiropractic and naturopathic practitioners, as well as other legitimate natural medicine practitioners, continue to be the targets of suppression and misrepresentation. The war isn't over, but the rules of engagement have changed.
AMA Declares New War on Natural Medicine in 2006
In 2006, the AMA declared war on natural medicine by publicly stating on its website its intention to forcibly oppose licensure and practice of naturopathic
 physicians. Although they quickly removed this from their site, the following is a direct quote from that post, according to Naturopathy Digest:
"RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association work through its Board of Trustees to outline a policy opposing the licensure of naturopaths to 
 practice medicine and report this policy to the House of Delegates no later than the 2006 Interim Meeting. (Directive to Take Action) Fiscal Note: Implement accordingly at estimated staff cost of $10,836."
Translation: Eliminate the competition.
According to The Integrator Blog, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) joined the battle with a statement that their goal was to "thwart the growing threat of expansion of scope of practice for allied health professionals" and included psychologists on the list of medical practitioners who needed to be "thwarted" (in addition to naturopaths, chiropractors, and midwives). The APA pledged their allegiance to the AMA in assisting them with "coordinating research to help medical specialty societies and state medical associations fight expansions in non-medical scope of practice, and improve information sharing among those groups."
Other medical associations have made similar pledges, such as the Minnesota Medical Association and the New York Academy of Family Physicians. They maintain that their position is based on concern for quality of care and patient safety, but the REAL agenda is just an attempt to destroy the competition.
As Chiropractor Louis Sportelli writes in his 2010 article in Dynamic Chiropractic:
"Just look around and you will see clear and compelling evidence that the long-standing war between the AMA and everyone else who does not come under the AMA umbrella is far from over. The names have changed, the venue has changed, but the intent has remained the same: to maintain monopolistic control over the delivery of health care."
Old Mission, New Tactics: AMA Learns How to Discriminate with Impunity
In 2010, the AMA House of Delegates introduced a resolution regarding scope of practice that contains limitations on who can be considered a legitimate physician, and who can medically diagnose. Specifically, the AMA's "Definition of a Physician" (H-405.969) contains the following language:
"The AMA affirms that a physician is an individual who has received a 'Doctor of Medicine' or a 'Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine' degree."
This is proof, without a doubt, that the AMA as well as individual state medical associations intend to continue doing everything they can to prevent you from accessing natural healthcare. Texas and Connecticut medical associations were the first to join the cause, and others will likely follow. Similarly, the AMA's "Comprehensive Physical Examination by Appropriate Practitioners" reads as follows:
"…the performance of comprehensive physical examinations to diagnose medical conditions [should be limited] to licensed MDs/DOs or those practitioners who are directly supervised by licensed MDs/DOs."
State Medical Associations Jumping on Board
In 2010, the Texas Medical Board of Examiners filed an action against the Texas Chiropractic Board of Examiners challenging the authority of DCs (Doctors of Chiropractic) to perform some of their medical procedures, and challenging their authority to diagnose. How can medical associations get away with such shenanigans now, when they were given such a clear message to back off in the injunction of 1987? After all, these are very similar tactics to what they were found guilty of back in 1987.
Well, according to Sportinelli, the AMA has learned some lessons about how to beat the law—loopholes that allow them to go on the attack while sidestepping "restraint of trade" or "illegal boycott" violations:
"It [AMA] now understands that government action is protected under the Constitution, as is action in petitioning the government. It can lawfully petition local, state and federal legislators and attempt to influence any legislation without fear of committing actionable restraint of trade or illegal boycott. (However, the AMA does seem to be getting dangerously close with its resolution regarding the "definition of a physician," in that it appears to involve hospital action without the intervention of government.)"
And what does one need in order to effectively influence the government? Money. This is something the AMA has—and piles of it. Sportinelli goes on to say that the medical industry is likely gearing up for a 50-state effort to put non-MD/DO physicians out of business. And this means fewer choices about your own medical care.
Profit Motives Cleverly Disguised as Concern for Your Health and Safety
According to Naturopathy Digest, the AMA and other medical groups justify their opposition to natural medicine on the basis of three areas of concern:
Quality of patient care
Patient safety
Quality of education of medical practitioners
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As the article so eloquently points out, none of these arguments holds up, and most are based on medical and pharmaceutical industry propaganda. If they were TRULY concerned about patient care and safety, they would not be targeting natural medicine, which has an incredibly low incidence of adverse consequences, but instead going after their own allopathic medical practices that are leaving a trail of death and destruction.
Drug "side effects", prescription errors, unnecessary surgeries, nosocomial infections, and hospital "errors" are a leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, one estimate is that allopathic medicine kills 493 American patients daily. The number of people who die each week as a result of medical treatments surpasses the number of deaths caused by the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Yes, each and every week!
Many of the drugs advertised in JAMA (the AMA's scientific journal) are the very same drugs that are killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. This massive funding of the AMA by drug companies is a blatant conflict of interest. If the AMA really cared about your safety, they'd be putting their substantial assets into overhauling the American healthcare system. The AMA is fond of lambasting the education and training of chiropractors, when in actuality, they should be more concerned about the educational qualifications of their own physicians. In their own publications, they have stated:
"Medical education is failing to prepare students adequately for their future practice… medical education is currently being held together with peanut butter and bubble gum."
At least four consecutive studies have documented that most MDs are incompetent when it comes to diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems, something at which chiropractors excel. Another example of an abysmal lack of education of Western physicians is in the area of diet and nutrition. The AMA itself has published research showing that dietary interventions should be used before drugs in the treatment of heart disease. Yet, medical students receive virtually NO training in nutrition. Naturopathic and chiropractic physicians, on the other hand, are usually well versed in the importance of nutrition and exercise.
It's Not Just the AMA
Perhaps it's time to take a real look at medical associations, and the concern that they may be doing more harm than good. For groups who claim to exist in order to protect your health, they inevitably end up sabotaging it. It isn't just the AMA. Other medical associations that claim to exist for the betterment of public health include the following:
American Dental Association (ADA): Continues to support the use of mercury fillings and demonizes biological dentists who oppose the use of mercury in dentistry; continues to support fluoridation, in spite of the evidence it does more harm than good.
American Cancer Society (ACS): This charity has close ties to the mammography industry, the cancer drug industry, and the pesticide industry; has rampant conflicts of interest; consistently promotes drugs and screening procedures while ignoring environmental causes of cancer.
National Cancer Institute (NCI): Has spent billions of taxpayer dollars promoting treatments while ignoring strategies for preventing cancer; abundant ties to the cancer drug industry (for more information, read Samuel Epstein's new book, National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Claiming to be protecting your children, the AAP is largely funded by vaccine manufacturers but refuses to disclose just how much money it gets from them; partners with Congress to protect pediatricians and drug companies from liability for vaccine injuries, while preventing you from getting truthful vaccine information.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
When someone's words differ from their actions, chances are that their actions more accurately reflect their values—and this is true for organizations, as well as individuals. Although medical associations claim to have your best interests at heart, their actions tell a different story. It's time to begin holding them accountable for their behavior and stop letting them hide behind the same old tired rhetoric.
You have a right to make your own choices about your healthcare, be it allopathic or naturopathic—whether you see an MD, an ND, or a DC should be YOUR decision and yours alone.
References:
Dynamic Chiropractic July 2010: http://www.mytexasdoctor.org/pdfs/amatactics.pdf
Clin Orthop Relat Res. August 2005: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16056057
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Don't be this guy!
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These Vilified Foods Help Build Hormones and Tame Your Appetite
Posted By Dr. Mercola
December 24 2011
CBS News, one of the most-watched news programs in the world, recently ran a report questioning whether animal fat is as bad as 'conventional wisdom' would have you believe.
The answer?
It most certainly is not.
The vilification of fats go back to the early 1950's, when Dr. Ancel Keys published an influential paper comparing fat intake and heart disease mortality in six countries.
Americans, who ate the most fat had the highest heart disease mortality rate, while the Japanese, who ate the least amount of fat had the fewest heart disease deaths.
However, this was a perfect case of statistical cherry-picking to support a position.
Statistics were actually available for 22 countries, and when all 22 were analyzed and included, the link between fat consumption and heart disease was nonexistent.
The Danger of Turning a Misguided, Unproven Hypothesis into Dogma…
Unfortunately, the hypothesis presented by Dr. Keys quickly turned into the dogmatic belief that saturated fats increase your risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
Today, it's been well-established that the only really dangerous fat out there is trans fat (margarine, vegetable oils), which initially, and ironically, were touted as the answer to that heart-harming saturated fat.
Despite this, the general belief that fat is bad for you lingers even in the highest echelons of medicine.
The truth is that your body requires saturated fats, and the 'substantiating evidence' pointing toward saturated fats being harmful is flimsy at best.
Gary Taubes discussed this lack of evidence in an interview I did with him a few months ago. Taubes is a science and health journalist, and author of several books, including Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health, and Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. In that interview, he argued against the notion that the saturated fat-heart disease hypothesis has any scientific merit:
"Those previous studies never actually confirmed the hypothesis," he says. "… I lectured at the NIH a couple of years ago and… talked to a guy who ran an NIA-funded childhood obesity research program. He said their primary concern with obese kids is to keep their saturated fat content down… He said there are thousands of studies… confirming the evils of saturated fat.
I said to him, 'The difference between you and I is I actually spent a significant portion of my life reading those studies and 'getting' them all.'
In 1984, when there was a consensus conference by the NIH saying every American over the age two should eat a low-fat diet, there were actually about eight or nine studies… [but] they could never show that eating a reduced saturated fat diet would make you live longer. It might reduce heart disease rates; it did in some studies, but it increased cancer rates… When you look at the meta-analyses that have been done looking at these issues, and a couple of them came out in the last two years, the results are always the same.
There is not enough evidence to say that saturated fat is bad for you, and there has never been that evidence."
Most of us (including most doctors and health professionals) do not have the scientific training and/or the time to read and digest large amounts of scientific research, which is what makes the likes of Gary Taubes so valuable. Reading and really understanding the research was and still is his primary job. And what he and many other well-versed health experts are telling us is that saturated fats are good for you, and that shunning fats can cascade into a number of health problems.
Why Your Body Needs Saturated Fat
Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as meat, dairy, certain oils, and tropical plants like
coconut) provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances that are essential to your health. Fats also slows down absorption of your meal so that you feel satiated longer.
In addition, saturated fats are also:
· Carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes
· Useful antiviral agents (caprylic acid)
· Effective as an anticaries, antiplaque and anti fungal agents (lauric acid)
· Useful to actually lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids)
· Modulators of genetic regulation and prevent cancer (butyric acid)
Fats also provide a highly concentrated source of energy in your diet—a source of energy that is far more ideal than carbohydrates, which is why I recommend increasing healthy fat consumption in combination with severely restricting refined carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains).
There is emerging evidence that your diet should be at least half healthy fat, and possibly as high as 70 percent. Part of the reason for this is that there are powerful adverse hormonal changes that typically occur when your body burns non-vegetable carbohydrates like grains and sugars. This does not occur when you consume fibrous vegetables or healthy fats. This likely explains the mountain of scientific evidence showing that calorie restricted diets extend lifespan. Mostly likely it is not a calorie issue per se, as it is the type of calories, specifically non-vegetable carbohydrates.
As a general rule, when you cut down on carbs, you need to increase your fat consumption. Replacing it with more protein is not a wise choice as it will also have similar problems. And, while this also works in the opposite way; meaning when you cut fat, you need to replace that lost energy source with carbs, this strategy has the unfortunate effect of promoting fat storage and weight gain.
Nearly 10 years ago, I published one of Taubes' articles on this site, in which he expounded on the misguided dietary advice to "eat less fat and more carbohydrates," stating that this advice just might be the cause of the skyrocketing rates of obesity in America. Today, there's no shortage of evidence supporting the claim that excessive sugar and carb consumption is indeed the primary driving factor behind obesity. Many of my articles touch on this each and every week. Another puzzle piece is the lack of healthful fat (or simply the wrong kinds of fats) in many people's diet.
For more information, I recommend viewing one of his lectures on "Why We Get Fat," below.
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Not All Saturated Fats are the Same…
It's unfortunate, but in today's world of processed food-like products, it's more important than ever to really understand what "real" food is, and not fall for the idea that you can substitute real foods with "new and improved" alternatives. Doing so can have severe health consequences. Trading naturally-occurring saturated fats for trans fats is just one example. Not understanding the inherent nutritional differences between grass-fed, organically-raised meats and that from cattle raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) is another.
They're simply not interchangeable. Neither are organic vegetables and conventionally grown—or worse, genetically modified—varieties…
That said, let's get back to fats.
As I just mentioned, when you cut carbs, you need to replace those calories with healthy fats. Both are sources of energy, but healthy fats are far more ideal than carbs. (In fact, saturated fat is the preferred fuel for your heart.) However, not just any kind of fat will do. The Atkins Diet is one popular example of a low-carb, high-fat diet that has helped many shed unwanted pounds. Unfortunately, Dr. Atkins didn't pay much attention to the QUALITY of the fats, so while his recommendations worked in the short-term, many who tried it ended up experiencing long-term problems.
It's important to understand that not all saturated fats are the same. There are subtle differences that have profound health implications, and if you avoid eating all saturated fats, your health will likely suffer as a result.
There are in fact more than a dozen different types of saturated fat, but you predominantly consume only three: stearic acid, palmitic acid and lauric acid.
It's already been well established that stearic acid (found in cocoa and animal fat) has no adverse effects on your cholesterol levels, and actually gets converted in your liver into the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. The other two, palmitic and lauric acid, do raise total cholesterol. However, since they raise "good" cholesterol as much or more than "bad" cholesterol, you're still actually lowering your risk of heart disease.
So, What is "Healthy Fat," and How Much Do You Need?
Sources of healthy fats include:
Olives and Olive oil, Coconuts and coconut oil, Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw Nuts, such as, almonds or pecans, Organic pastured egg yolks, Avocados
Grass fed meats, Palm oil, Unheated organic nut oils
Another healthful fat you want to be mindful of is animal-based omega-3. Deficiency in this essential fat can cause or contribute to very serious health problems, both mental and physical, and may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths each year. For more information about omega-3's and the best sources of this fat, please review this previous article.
Personally, my diet consists of close to 70 percent fat. I recently published a discussion between Paul Jaminet, PhD., author of the book, Perfect Health Diet, and Dr. Ron Rosedale, an expert on insulin and leptin metabolism, which compares their individual low-carb, high-fat diet recommendations. While there is mild controversy whether or not you can safely include starches like rice and potatoes in your diet, both do recommend consuming somewhere between 50-70 percent fat.
This is in stark contrast to conventional dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. government, which advises you to consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats!
Saturated Fat Does Belong in a Healthy Diet
Such a low recommendation is illogical when you consider the evidence available today, which supports saturated fat as a necessary part of a heart healthy diet. For example, as discussed in a recent article by Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD, a number of indigenous tribes around the world are living proof that a high-saturated fat diet equates to low mortality from heart disease.
These include:
Tribe, Primary Diet, Percentage Saturated Fat
Maasai tribe in Kenya/Tanzania, Meat, milk, cattle blood, 66 percent
Inuit Eskimos in the Arctic, Whale meat and blubber, 75 percent
Rendille tribe in NE Kenya, Camel milk, meat, blood, 63 percent
Tokealu, atoll islands in New Zealand territory, Fish and coconuts, 60 percent
And then there's human breast milk, which contains 54 percent saturated fat. Since breast milk is the most perfect diet in existence for developing infants, the presence of high amounts of saturated fat cannot easily be construed as a "mistake."
Furthermore:
A meta-analysis published last year, which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.
In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. William Castelli, a former director of the Framingham Heart study, stated:
"In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person's serum cholesterol. The opposite of what… Keys et al would predict…We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active."
Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates.
When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.
I believe that last point is very important, and is likely a major key for explaining the rampant increase in obesity, heart disease and diabetes. And once you can pinpoint the problem, turning it all around becomes that much easier.
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Resveratrol and pterostilbene team together to improve mental function
John Phillip
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
(NaturalNews) The potent phenolic compound resveratrol and its close cousin, pterostilbene, have long been touted for their anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood sugar-lowering health benefits. Information published in the prestigious journal publications, Neurobiology of Aging and The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, both cite resveratrol and pterostilbene as powerful brain-boosting agents, enhancing cognitive and mental function while lowering the risk from many forms of dementia. Pterostilbene, chemically similar to resveratrol, is a bioactive protective compound found commonly in many fresh fruits and vegetables. Numerous research studies show the two compounds act to reduce inflammation throughout the body (inflammation is a process behind seven of the ten most common disease processes that lead to death). Including this potent duo as part of your healthy diet, or from supplementation, may help aid memory retention.
Resveratrol is a bioactive compound extracted most commonly from the skin of red grapes and found at differing concentrations in red wine. Researchers in Japan working with mice examined the effect of consuming red wine with a resveratrol concentration of 20 mg per liter, compared with a lower concentration of 3.1 mg per liter. A typical glass of red wine averages 4.7 mg per liter of resveratrol concentration.
Resveratrol and Pterostilbene Stimulate Insulin Growth Factor to Impede Cognitive Decline
The scientists found that the higher resveratrol concentration resulted in improved cognitive function using a variety of spatial and memory intensive tests. The benefits were linked to an increase in the production of a peptide called insulin-like growth-factor-I (IGF-I) that promotes the growth of blood vessels and neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain. Researchers commented: "It is thus possible that drinking red wine with regular concentrations of resveratrol for long periods lowers the risk of age-associated cognitive decline." Experts recommend an intake of 25 to 50 mg of resveratrol each day for optimal health effects.
In a separate research study conducted at Case Western Reserve University and Tufts University, two groups of mice were fed either identical doses of resveratrol or pterostilbene, about the equivalent of drinking two glasses of wine. While both compounds were found to boost levels of cognition, those receiving the pterostilbene demonstrated modulated markers of cellular stress and inflammation. This effect was not seen in the resveratrol supplemented mice.
The researchers concluded that because of the slight structural difference between the two compounds, "This change may lead to a better bioavailability of pterostilbene and consequently a more neuroprotective effect in the brain." Pterostilbene is available naturally through a diet including blueberries, grapes, cranberries and olive oil or can be supplemented (50 mg per day) to meet nutritional goals. Both compounds provide a healthy synergistic effect that can help preserve memories and mental function as we age.
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal.
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Did you know? Microwave popcorn gives off a toxic, lung-damaging gas when cooked
by Mike Adams
Monday, December 12, 2011
(NaturalNews) You might be reassured to learn that the buttery flavor in microwave popcorn typically comes from a chemical actually found in butter, but you shouldn't be. This chemical, called diacetyl, is so toxic that it commonly destroys the lungs of workers in microwave popcorn factories, afflicting them with the crippling and irreversible disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans. Bronchiolitis obliterans is so rare outside of this context that it has become more commonly known as "popcorn lung," after the primary cause of the disease.
Regulators and health professionals have known of this risk for decades, but always assumed that it would only affect people breathing in especially high concentrations in factory settings. Then in 2007, a man who regularly ate two bags of microwave popcorn every day was diagnosed with popcorn lung, indicating that diacetyl enters the air and lungs when microwave popcorn is cooked. Anxious to reassure consumers, most microwave popcorn companies phased out diacetyl -- only to replace it with chemicals that have the same effects.
Today, you can still find diacetyl in many flavored snack foods and even in some so-called "natural" foods. Make sure you read the ingredients of any food you intend to consume, and make sure it contains no diacetyl (and no "yeast extract" for that matter, either).
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Green tea consumption linked to improvements in total and LDL cholesterol
John Phillip
Monday, December 12, 2011
(NaturalNews) Numerous studies have confirmed the health-supportive benefits of green tea consumption, as the ancient Chinese drink helps to prevent many forms of cancer and lowers the risk from cognitive decline and dementia. The result of a systematic literature search published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association finds that green tea supplied from drink or supplements lowers total cholesterol and artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. Green tea contains antioxidant compounds called catechins (specifically EGCG) that pack a powerful anti-inflammatory punch to our metabolism. These biologically active compounds from green and white tea have a direct and dramatic effect on blood lipids that help lower total cholesterol and more importantly that reduce atherogenic small, dense LDL cholesterol particles, which lower cardiovascular disease risk.
Study leader, Dr Olivia J. Phung of the College of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California decided to collect and analyze all available evidence from a multitude of prior studies on green tea and lipid modification. Dr. Phung and her team examined the relationship between consumption of green tea catechins and changes in levels of total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides to establish a pattern of benefits for cardiovascular health.
Green Tea Consumption Lowers Total and LDL Cholesterol Levels
The study grouped the results from twenty past research bodies covering a total of 1,415 participants. Once compiled and analyzed, the pooled data found that green tea catechins, at doses ranging from 145 to 3,000 mg per day (including consumption as green tea beverage and extract in capsules), led to statistically significant reductions in total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, compared to controls who did not consume any. The studies reviewed ranged from three to twenty-four weeks in duration. Interestingly, they did not show any change in HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
The results demonstrated that green tea in the form of a beverage yielded minimally improved levels of lipid improvement compared with capsule supplements. Total and LDL cholesterol levels were improved an average of five to six points, a statistically significant reduction in those at increased risk for heart disease and heart attack. While this analysis did not specify LDL particle size, previous research studies have demonstrated that green tea consumption results in larger, less atherogenic particles that do not raise disease risk.
Increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease include smoking, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, and age. Alternative natural therapies including green tea consumption or supplementation offer a potent weapon in the fight against lipid-mediated risk factors and heart disease. Green tea can contain fluoride absorbed from the environment, so be certain to select an organically harvested green tea variety from a trusted supplier.
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource; http://myoptimalhealthresource.blogspot.com/ to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.
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Drink Tea and Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer by Thirty-Seven Percent
Barbara L. Minton
Monday, February 16, 2009
(NaturalNews) Enjoying a cup of tea while reading this article? If so, keep right on drinking. A newly released study has found that drinking tea results in a 37% reduction in breast cancer risk for women under the age of 50, an age in which breast cancer can be particularly virulent. Another recent study has shown that tea drinking reduces risk of endometrial cancer. These results add to the pile of data showing tea is one of the healthiest beverages a person can drink.
Study finds tea lowers risk for all common breast cancers
The study, reported in the January edition of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, examined the association of regular tea consumption with the risk of breast cancer in a large population-based, case-controlled study completed in the U.S. Researchers examined data from 5,082 women with breast cancer between the ages of 20 and 74 years from population-based cancer registries, along with 4,501 age-matched controls. Information on usual tea consumption five years prior to the interview and other breast cancer risk factors were analyzed.
Results showed that among women less than 50 years old, those consuming three or more cups of tea per day had a 37% reduction in breast cancer risk when compared with women reporting no tea consumption. This relationship was consistent for invasive breast cancers and in situ, and for ductal and lobular breast cancers.
Whether it is Black, Green, White or Oolong, tea is the world's second most commonly consumed beverage
After water, people around the world rely on this beverage staple from ancient China. Throughout history, people have believed that tea aids the liver, destroys the typhoid germ, purifies the body, and preserves mental equilibrium. In recent times, scientists have documented that many of the health benefits of tea reported through the ages are more than folklore.
Black, green, white, and oolong teas all derive their leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant. Research on tea has yielded profound results no matter which variety is used. All the teas from this magical plant provide a wealth of health benefits.
Tea provides potent flavonoids and antioxidants
Flavonoids in tea are naturally occurring compounds that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, believed to damage elements in the body over time, contribute to chronic disease, and accelerate the aging process.
Tea is a research superstar against cancer
A study from the January edition of International Journal of Cancer examined the association between endometrial cancer risk and usual consumption of black tea and coffee among 541 women with endometrial cancer and 541 women without such diagnosis at Rosewell Park Cancer Institute in New York. They found a non-significant association with endometrial cancer risk among women who reported drinking more than 2 cups of regular coffee. In women who drank more than 2 cups of tea, a significant decrease in endometrial cancer risk was shown. A significant decrease in risk was also reported for women who drank more than 4 cups of combined coffee and tea.
Tea drinking has been shown to play an important role in human cancer reduction by inhibiting uncontrolled cell growth, known as cell proliferation, and by promoting appropriate programmed cell death, known as apoptosis. A recent study found that smokers who drank four cups of decaffeinated green tea per day showed a 31 percent decrease in oxidative DNA damage in white blood cells as compared to those who drank four cups of water. Oxidative DNA damage is implicated in the promotion of many forms of cancer.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an abundant polyphenol in green tea, may protect normal cells from carcinogens as well as eliminate cancer cells through promotion of apoptosis. In a test of EGCG with hamsters, researchers found that EGCG suppressed DNA changes and damage, and inhibited growth and multiplication of cancer cells.
Consumption of 2.5 cups or more of any tea from the Camellis sinensis plant resulted in a 60 percent drop in rectal cancer risk among Russian tea drinking women compared to those who drank less than 1.2 cups of tea per day. The women who drank between 1.2 and 2.5 cups per day had a 52 percent decrease in risk of rectal cancer.
The Iowa Women's Study, which followed post-menopausal women between the ages of 55 and 69 for eight years, found that those who drank two or more cups of tea per day had a 32 percent reduced risk of developing digestive cancers, and a whopping 60 percent decreased risk of developing urinary tract cancers.
In a large population-based control study, male participants drinking 4.5 cups of tea per day showed an 18 percent decrease in colon cancer risk, a 28 percent reduction in rectal cancer, and a 47 percent reduced risk of pancreatic cancer. Women who drank 3 cups of tea a day showed a drop in colon cancer risk of 33 percent, a decrease in rectal cancer risk of 43 percent, and a reduction of pancreatic cancer risk by 37 percent. Pancreatic cancer is an especially deadly form of cancer.
The major polyphenols of black tea and green tea have been shown to inhibit proteins which are closely associated with tumor growth and metastasis. Black tea polyphenols have also been shown to prevent oxidative DNA damage to colon mucosa.
A study at the University of Arizona found that drinking iced black tea with citrus peel provided a 42 percent reduction in risk of skin cancer, while hot black tea consumption was associated with significantly lower risk of squamous cell carcinoma.
Consumption of green or black tea decreased the number of tumors in mice following exposure to UV radiation. Topical treatment of green tea polyphenols on human skin prior to UV exposure inhibited DNA damage, thus inhibiting UV induced skin cancer. Green and black tea, or topical preparations of specific tea flavonoids, inhibited the growth of established non-malignant and malignant skin tumors in tumor-bearing mice. In addition, drinking black tea enhanced cell death in the animals.
A case-control study from China found that tea consumption decreased risk of ovarian cancer. The more tea that was consumed and the greater the frequency of consumption, the lower was the risk.
Compounds in tea work together to provide broad support for cardiovascular health
Human population studies have found that people who regularly consume three or more cups of black tea per day have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown this risk reduction may be due to improvement in cholesterol levels, blood vessel function, and reduction in oxidative damage.
Researchers are examining the mechanisms by which tea flavonoids function in maintaining cardiovascular health. Some studies suggest that several mechanisms work together to collectively improve markers. Blood vessel and endothelial function, ability of blood vessels to dilate to allow for proper blood flow, serum cholesterol levels, and LDL cholesterol are areas currently under study. All of these factors impact the risks for heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disease, and other cardiac events.
Tea and obesity
Preliminary research findings have suggested that drinking tea has an effect on weight, fat accumulation and insulin activity in the body. Researchers have found that:
1.Green tea extract significantly increased 24 hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation in healthy men.
2. The weight of modestly obese patients decreased by 4.6 percent, and waist circumference decreased by 4.48 percent after three months of consumption of green tea extract.
3.Mice fed tea catechins for 11 months showed a significant reduction of high-fat, diet-induced body weight gain and visceral and liver fat accumulation.
4.Fat cell assay testing found that tea, as normally consumed, increased insulin activity more than 15 fold. Green, black and oolong tea all yielded insulin increasing results. Several known compounds found in tea were shown to enhance insulin and help cells recognize and respond to insulin.
Tea and osteoporosis
Although it has been suggested that caffeine intake is a risk factor for reduced bone mineral density (BMD), research shows that tea drinking does not negatively impact BMD, and preliminary research suggests that tea may even be protective of bone health. A study published in the April, 2000 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that older women who drank tea had higher BMD measurements than those who did not drink tea. The researchers suggested that flavonoids in tea might influence bone mass.
Green and white teas are the least processed
Although black, green, white and oolong teas all come from the same plant, each is processed differently. The more processing tea leaves undergo, the darker they will turn, indicating black tea to be the most processed variety. White tea is derived from young silvery leaves in early spring. It contains no chlorophyll. Black and oolong teas are partially dried, crushed and fermented, while green and white teas are simply steamed. Regardless of the processing method, each of these teas contains polyphenols. In fact, tea ranks as high as or higher than many fruits and vegetables in ORAC score, a measure of free radical scavenging ability.
Herbal and rooibos teas lack the particular health promoting properties of other teas
Herbal tea is not really tea at all. It is an infusion made with herbs, flowers, roots, spices or other part of plants. The term for the herbal beverage is "tisane". Rooibos falls within the herbal tea or tisane category. It is not really tea either. Neither herbal or rooibos come from the Camellia plant, and therefore do not have the health promoting benefits found in that plant. Although tisane does not contain as many polyphenols, it does promote other various health qualities and has relaxing and calming effects.
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
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Twenty-seven years bring no deaths from vitamins but three million from pharmaceuticals
Anthony Gucciardi
Sunday, December 11, 2011
(NaturalNews) Despite mainstream medical establishments and media outlets portraying multivitamin supplements as worthless and oftentimes toxic, vitamins have led to 0 deaths over the past 27 years. In contrast, pharmaceutical drugs were responsible for 3 million deaths, topping the death toll from traffic-related incidents. In 2009, pharmaceuticals were responsible for the death of 37,485 people nationwide.
The statistics come from the Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Poison Data System (NPDS), and the findings go against the claims of most mainstream doctors and medical officials, who claim that pharmaceutical drugs are the only 'science-backed' method to 'treating' illness. However, the report highlights the fact that pharmaceuticals oftentimes lead to death and countless other side effects. In fact, the number of hospitalizations and side effects were not documented by the report. While the report only detailed the 3 million deaths as a result of drug use, countless other adverse health effects have been linked to popular pharmaceuticals such as cold and allergy medications.
Shockingly, the average drug label contains around 70 negative side effects, though many popular brand name drugs have been found to contain 100 to 125. Some drugs even list around 525 negative effects on the label. These drugs are being prescribed by doctors to 'treat' patients, when the drug side effects are routinely worse than the very illness they claim to treat.
These side effects are one reason that the FDA is now pulling over 500 cold and allergy drugs off of pharmacy store shelves. What the FDA is not addressing, however, are the negative effects associated with the top-selling therapeutic class pharmaceutical drug -- antipsychotics. Drugs, which are prescribed to 'treat' suicidal thoughts and behavior, have been found to actually lead to suicide and other diseases such as diabetes. The side effects were so significant that even U.S. pediatric health advisers have begun speaking out to the media, citing the link between antipsychotics and diabetes.
Previous whistleblowers exposed the link between mental health drugs and suicide after it was covered up by the makers of the drugs. Eli Lilly & Co, the makers of Prozac, ignored and hid studies as far back as the 1980s that found Prozac led to suicidal thoughts. Until Harvard Physicist Martin Teicher leaked the findings to the press, the company managed to hide the news from consumers worldwide.
Teicher said that the American people were being "treated like guinea pigs in a massive pharmaceutical experiment."
Pharmaceutical drugs are loaded with toxic side effects and do not eliminate the root cause of disease they claim to treat. Killing 3 million within the last 27 years, and topping traffic fatalities each year, pharmaceutical drugs are a deadly and ineffective option when it comes to combating disease.
Anthony Gucciardi is a health activist and wellness researcher, whose goal is centered around educating the general public as to how they may obtain optimum health. He has authored countless articles highlighting the benefits of natural health, as well as exposing the pharmaceutical industry. Anthony is the creator of Natural Society (http://www.NaturalSociety.com), a natural health website. Anthony has been accurately interpreting national and international events for years within his numerous political articles. Anthony's articles have been seen by millions around the world, and hosted on multiple top news websites.
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Also See:
If You Know what's Good for You ...
(Part 1)
19 February 2009
and
(Part 2)
01 August 2009
and
(Part 3)
02 March 2010
and
(Part 4)
28 September 2010
and
(Part 5)
15 March 2011
and
(Part 6)
20 July 2011
and
(Part 7)
09 October 2011
and
 Vitamins, Genetic Food, Health
03 April 2007
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2007/04/vitamins-genetic-food-health.html
 and
FDA - Drugs, Vaccines & Vitamin Supplements
(Part 1)
07 July 2008
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2008/07/marching-towards-police-state.html
and
How Safe Is Our Food?
(Part 1)
06 December 2008
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2008/12/food-how-safe-is-it.html
and
(Part 2)
26 March 2009
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2009/03/how-safe-is-our-food-part-2.html
and
Genetic Manipulated Foods Are Not Healthy!
24 May 2009
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2009/05/genetic-manipulated-foods-are-not.html
and
Losing Weight - Are Diets Detrimental to Health?
16 September 2010
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2010/09/too-much-too-young-teen-body-obsession.html
and
No More Floride in the Water - Waterloo, Ontario
08 November 2010
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2010/11/no-more-floride-in-water-waterloo.html
and
Why is Fluoride in Our Water?
09 January 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/01/why-is-fluoride-in-our-water.html
and
Medication Errors are a Major Killer!
(Part 1)
04 February 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/02/medication-errors-are-major-killer.html
and
Can't Sleep? There is Help!
08 February 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/02/cant-sleep-there-is-help.html
and
Avoid Chemotherapy and Radiation!
19 November 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/11/chemotherapy-and-radiation.html
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