Saturday, August 01, 2009

If You Know what's Good for You ... (Part 2)

If You Know what's Good for You ... (Part 1)
19 February 2009
Improve Your Memory with Smart Drugs
By Dr. James Howenstine, MD.
February 2, 2010
What Are Smart Drugs (Nootropics)?
While smart drugs are not needed to heal Alzheimer’s Disease, having knowledge of this interesting therapy can be advantageous to elderly individuals who are often in a constant battle to preserve their ability to think and remember. Much disability in the elderly is caused by unrecognized side effects of drugs. Tragically, many seniors live out their lives in confusion because of excessive doses or unrecognized side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. A classic example of this problem is the mental confusion, transient global amnesia (total temporary loss of awareness lasting up to 12 hours) and peripheral neuritis commonly caused by the widely prescribed statin drugs, which lower cholesterol values. Because the attending physicians often do not know that these problems relate to the cholesterol lowering therapy, many seniors are forced to cope with drug side effects interfering with brain function during their final years.
Smart drugs are substances that promote optimal brain function. Any drug that increases the amount of acetylcholine in the brain by blocking the action of the enzyme cholinesterase has the potential to improve memory, alertness, verbal fluency, and creative thinking. Therapies that increase the activity of cholinesterase will tend to lower the amount of acetylcholine in the brain. This tends to decrease alertness and impair memory, creative thinking and verbal fluency. If these changes occur, the guilty therapy might be considered a “dumb drug.” for that particular individual. A variety of drugs and nutrients make up the smart drug portfolio.
Evaluation of these therapies is quite complex, as not everyone reacts to each of these substances in the same way. Preexisting moodiness can cause a depressed result with decreased productivity subsequent to the increased cholinergic effect of a smart drug. Additionally, cholinergic smart drug therapy in patients who are under considerable stress may lead to a changed person who becomes less responsive to reward, unable to maintain sustained effort, and who exhibits suppressed – instead of enhanced – performance. The possibility exists that in the future AMPA-type glutamate receptors may even be able to increase intellectual performance in healthy young adults.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients, because of adverse effects from aluminum, mercury, and electromagnetic energy exposure, have suffered a progressive disproportionate loss of cholinergic neurons. A combination of organic vitamin B complex (a natural product called Supreme B), silica, and magnesium can heal AD. Increasing the level of acetylcholine in AD patients with a smart drug (pramiracetam, galantamine, piracetam, and vinpocetine) can increase blood flow to the brain, increase ATP energy production, increase the brain uptake of glucose and oxygen, and improve brain performance.
Pramiracetam (Neupramir)
Pramiracetam (Neupramir) is similar chemically to piracetam, but pramiracetam is seven times more potent. This appears to be the most effective of the Smart Drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. The dosage used is about 1500 mg daily. Therapeutic results with Pramiracetam take about 1 month to become noticeable and may increase over the second month of therapy. Combining other nootropic drugs often improves the therapeutic result. A combination may permit the dose of Pramiracetam, which is expensive, to be reduced.
Pramiracetam can produce the following results in patients with AD:
• Improve intelligence and memory
• Reduce anxiety and aggressive behavior
• Improve learning capability
• Increase will power
• Improve long term memory
• Enhance the function of neurotransmitters
• Increase the number of receptors for acetylcholine
Steroid Hormones enhance the function of Pramiracetam. Availability of steroid hormones is essential for Pramiracetam to be effective. Patients with low levels of steroid hormones or their precursors cannot derive therapeutic benefits from Pramiracetam. The needed steroid hormones include the following: aldosterone, corticosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), estrogens, pregnanediol, progesterone, and testosterone.
There is generally little toxicity and few to no side effects in patients taking Pramiracetam therapy. The usual dose is 1200 to 1500 mg daily in divided doses. Uremic patients need reduced dosages. Pramiracetam can improve attention span, learning capacity, memory, time-space orientation, and mental performance. Rare side effects have been seen including heartburn, mild nervousness, dizziness, nausea, anorexia, insomnia, trembling, dry mouth, and incontinence of urine and stool.
Pramiracetam seems to be available in China, South Africa, Australia, and Europe. I do not know whether it can be brought into the USA. The product is expensive.
Vinpocetine significantly decreases the decline in the release of dopamine [1] that normally occurs in tandem with the progression of the aging process. Persistence of dopamine prevents depression from developing, along with aiding in preservation of cholinergic nerve cell membranes.
Vinpocetine improves blood circulation to the brain and thereby prevents and alleviates cerebral insufficiency symptoms caused by strokes and narrowed arteries.
A middle-aged employee at Smart Nutrition had suffered from poor vision (myopia) all her life and had worn contact lenses for many years. She took a 20 mg Vinpocetine capsule one day. Later that day when standing behind the owner of the company, she remarked that she could read the monitor on his computer. Previously, she had been unable to read anything from that distance. The next day she mentioned that in driving home on the same familiar route she visualized many things she had never seen before. She was confident that her vision had improved from one capsule of Vinpocetine.
Vinpocetine was given to 100 elderly arteriosclerotic patients to improve circulation to the eyes. Visual acuity improved in 88 persons by an average of 73%. Improvement was most striking in patients who had already experienced retinal changes from occlusion of the central retinal artery. The 20 mg dosage of vinpocetine was administered by drop infusion three times daily or was given by intravenous infusion 10 mg three times daily. The improvement in vision paralleled blood pressure increases in the central retinal artery.
Piracetam is derived from the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Because of a wide variety of favorable effects, Piracetam has become widely used in:
• improving cell membrane fluidity
• protecting nerves, along with anti-convulsant properties
• moderating neurotransmission of the cholinergic and glutaminergic systems
• improving neuroplasticity
• reducing adhesion to the endothelium, blocking vasospasm, and improving microcirculation in vessels
Piracetam also has value in the treatment of cognitive disorders, dementia, vertigo, cortical myoclonus, dyslexia and sickle cell anemia.
The dosage used is 800 mg, three times daily.
Nootropic drugs have a role to play in improving brain performance. Patients may wish to try these drugs. It would be worthwhile if a spouse or close friend could help evaluate potential improvement. Several of these drugs have shown unexpected benefits in other areas such as improvement in vision. Supreme B, Vinpocetine, and Piracetam are available from The Natural Health Team (, 800-416-2806).
High intake of iron and copper can contribute to age-related disorders in older adults
Source: American Chemical Society
21. January 2010 02:09
With scientific evidence linking high levels of copper and iron to Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and other age-related disorders, a new report in ACS' Chemical Research in Toxicology suggests specific steps that older consumers can take to avoid build up of unhealthy amounts of these metals in their bodies. "This story of copper and iron toxicity, which I think is reaching the level of public health significance, is virtually unknown to the general medical community, to say nothing of complete unawareness of the public," George Brewer states in the report.
The article points out that copper and iron are essential nutrients for life, with high levels actually beneficial to the reproductive health of younger people. After age 50, however, high levels of these metals can damage cells in ways that may contribute to a range of age-related diseases.
"It seems clear that large segments of the population are at risk for toxicities from free copper and free iron, and to me, it seems clear that preventive steps should begin now." The article details those steps for people over age 50, including avoiding vitamin and mineral pills that contain cooper and iron; lowering meat intake: avoiding drinking water from copper pipes; donating blood regularly to reduce iron levels; and taking zinc supplements to lower copper levels.
Avoid These 7 Foods and You're Off To A Healthier New Year
Posted by: Dr. Mercola
December 29 2009
1. Canned Tomatoes
The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A
The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity -- a prominent characteristic of tomatoes -- causes BPA to leach into your food.
2. Corn-Fed Beef
The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of books on sustainable farming
Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
3. Microwave Popcorn
The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group
Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize -- and migrate into your popcorn.
4. Nonorganic Potatoes
The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board
Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes they're treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they're dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.
5. Farmed Salmon
The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany
Nature didn't intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.
6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones
The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
7. Conventional Apples
The expert: Mark Kastel, codirector of the Cornucopia Institute
If fall fruits held a "most doused in pesticides contest," apples would win. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
This is one of the best “foods to avoid” lists I’ve seen come out of the mainstream media. It is very rare when this happens, but I agree with every food on this list.
The reality is that most food nowadays is far from pure. Pesticide residues have been detected in 50 percent to 95 percent of all commercially grown U.S. foods, and that is only one type of toxin.
Babies are actually born toxic due to the toxic load of their mothers, some of which comes from dietary contaminants and food additives. One study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that blood samples from newborns contained an average of 287 toxins, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, and Teflon chemicals!
The list above is a great starting point to cleaning up your diet, but focusing on organically grown, biodynamic whole foods is really the key to success here.
I want to expand on some of the toxic foods mentioned above, as well as add a few more to the list, so you can significantly reduce your exposure to toxins in the foods you eat.
Why Fresh is Better Than Canned
Many leading brands of canned foods contain BPA -- a toxic chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems.
According to Consumer Reports’ testing, just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children.
The current US federal guidelines put the daily upper limit of “safe” exposure at 50 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight. You should know, however, that even low-level exposure to BPA can be hazardous to your health, and Consumer Reports’ testing found that eating popular canned foods may expose you to excessive amounts of BPA:
Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans had BPA levels ranging from 35.9 ppb to as much as 191 ppb
Progresso Vegetable Soup had BPA levels ranging from 67 to 134 ppb
Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup had BPA levels ranging from 54.5 to 102 ppb
So, ideally avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers instead.
Grass-Fed is the Healthy Choice for Beef
Grass-fed beef is vastly superior to grain-fed beef, and in fact it’s the clear beef of choice you should be eating. It is far more important to choose grass-fed than to choose organic, as most grass-fed beef are also organic
Not only is it raised in a more sustainable way for the environment and a more humane way for the animal, but it’s the superior choice for your health.
Grass-fed beef, for instance, is lower in fat than regular beef and, more importantly, contains higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid. Grass-fed animals have from three to five times more CLA than grain-fed animals.
CLA has been making headlines for its extreme health benefits, which include:
Fighting cancer and diabetes
Helping you lose weight
Increasing your metabolic rate, a positive benefit for promoting normal thyroid function
Helping you maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Enhancing your immune system
Keep in mind that grass-fed meat is almost always preferable to certified organic meat also because most organic beef is fed organic corn, which is what causes the myriad of health problems associated with eating beef. If you can find organic, grass-fed meat, that would be ideal.
What You Need to Know About Milk
I strongly recommend you avoid milk that has the added growth hormone rBGH.
Samuel Epstein, MD, a scientist at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, is one of the top experts on cancer prevention, and he has been speaking out against rBGH in milk, the so-called “crack for cows,” for years.
For starters, Dr. Epstein points out that rBGH milk is “supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), excess levels of which have been incriminated as major causes of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.”
But that’s not all.
"This milk is qualitatively and quantitatively different from natural milk," states Dr. Epstein. "In addition to the issue of increased IGF-1 levels, these differences include:
Contamination of milk by the GM hormone rBGH
Contamination by pus and antibiotics resulting from the high incidence of mastitis in rBGH-injected cows
Contamination with illegal antibiotics and drugs used to treat mastitis and other rBGH-induced disease
Increased concentration of the thyroid hormone enzyme thyroxin-5'-monodeiodinase
Increased concentration of long-chain and decreased concentration of short-chain fatty acids
A reduction in levels of the milk protein casein."
You very well may be drinking rBGH milk and not know it, as no labels are required. This is despite the fact that nearly every American wants it labeled, but the government, as usual, bowed to industry lobbyists and, amazingly, does not require this on the label.
However, as increasing numbers of people and dairies choose to avoid rBGH, you can find labels that say “rBGH-free” or a similar variation. Organic milk is also rBGH-free.
This is certainly preferable to milk that contains this dangerous hormone … but I still don’t recommend drinking any milk, organic or otherwise, that is pasteurized.
You can avoid both the risks of rBGH and pasteurization by only drinking raw milk that comes from a small farmer you know and trust. This is the only way to drink milk if you’re interested in protecting your health.
The Most Important Foods to Buy Organic
Most fruits and vegetables contain unacceptable and unsafe levels of pesticides, so it’s a wise choice to buy organic produce as often as you can.
However, if you need to pick and choose which foods to buy organic, the most important foods to buy organic are animal products -- not produce. This is because animal foods, which are raised on pesticide-laced feed, tend to have higher concentrations of pesticides.
Non-organic meats have up to five times more pesticides than non-organic vegetables.
Non-organic butter can have up to 20 times as many pesticides as non-organic vegetables.
So when prioritizing your purchases, look for organic meats, eggs and dairy products before anything else.
There is one exception to this rule, and that is you may be better off choosing fresh local foods over organic foods. Often, locally grown foods are raised according to organic standards at a more affordable price.
Is Farmed Salmon the Only Seafood to Avoid?
Farmed salmon is among the worst seafood choices out there, as numerous studies show the salmon contain toxins and cancer-causing pollutants. Farmed salmon typically have at least 10 times more cancer-causing persistent organic pollutants than their wild counterparts.
That said, I do not agree that farmed salmon is the only fish you need to stay away from.
A recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey detected mercury in every fish sampled from nearly 300 U.S. streams. Among them, 27 percent contained mercury at levels that equaled or exceeded the U.S. EPA’s criterion for the protection of human health, and more than two-thirds exceeded mercury safety levels for fish-eating mammals like mink and otters.
Therefore, I do not recommend eating any fish -- whether farm-raised or from an ocean, lake, river or stream -- unless you have lab results in your hand that can attest to its purity.
There are still some safe areas out there, such as in certain pristine waters in Alaska, but it will take some searching on your end to seek them out. The ONLY safe fish I have discovered so far is Vital Choice wild red salmon, which remains the only source of fish I’ll eat.
Eating smaller fish, like anchovies and sardines, is also an option, as their small size makes them far less likely to be contaminated.
An important point to remember if you’re not eating fish is that your body still has a requirement for omega-3 fats. Fortunately, you can easily meet your omega-3 needs by taking a high-quality krill oil supplement, instead of risking your health by eating contaminated fish.
Another Food to Avoid: Unfermented Soy
This one did not make the above list, but it’s one I would definitely add.
Any soy that is unfermented -- soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, soy burgers, and all the other processed soy products out there all belong to this category -- is not a health food and in fact is not a food I would advise eating at all. This is true whether it is “organic” or not.
Soy infant formula is also on this list and is one of the absolute worst foods you can give your baby.
Unfermented soy products have been linked to everything from reproductive disorders and infertility to cancer and heart disease.
Further, unfermented soy contains isoflavones that are clearly associated with reduced thyroid function. Eating unfermented soy products is likely the single largest cause of hypothyroidism in women.
Another major problem with unfermented soy is that it contains natural toxins known as “antinutrients.” This includes a large quantity of inhibitors that deter your enzymes needed for protein digestion.
While a small amount of these antinutrients would likely not be a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating (and drinking in the form of soy milk) is quite significant.
The result of consuming too many of soy’s antinutrients is extensive gastric distress and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake, which can result in pancreatic impairment and cancer.
For more details on soy foods, including the fermented varieties that can actually be healthy, please read Why This Type of Soy is Better.
Guidelines for Healthy Food
Whatever food you’re looking to eat, whether imported organic or locally grown, from either your local supermarket or a farmer’s market, here are the signs of a high-quality, healthy food:
It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
It’s not genetically modified
It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
It is fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
It did not come from a factory farm
It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)
If the food meets these criteria, it is likely a good choice. Most often, the best place to find these foods is from a sustainable agricultural group in your area. You can also review my free nutrition plan to get started on a healthy eating program today.
Green tea nutrients prevent and treat brain disorders
by Mike Adams
Thursday, December 17, 2009
(NaturalNews) The December issue of Nature Chemical Biology contains a study that reveals the powerful effect of the green tea component EGCG in preventing and treating serious brain disorders like Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases. When combined with another isolated component, the elements therapeutically eliminate the protein amyloids which are thought to cause these brain diseases.
Amyloid plaques are tightly-bound protein sheets that make their way into the brain and occupy nerve cells. Sometimes they literally bind themselves around the brain tissue. Consequently, brain cells lose their oxygen source and begin to die, leading to memory and speech loss, diminished motor skills, and eventually death.
Researchers from Boston Biomedical Research Institute (BBRI) and the University of Pennsylvania discovered that two chemical components, one found in green tea, were able to break up the amyloid plaques and restore normal cell function in samples similar to what would be found in patients with brain disorders. The combination was found to be effective at eradicating all kinds of amyloids.
Representing the first time a specific set of chemical extracts has successfully destroyed protein amyloids, the research is breakthrough. Because amyloids are highly stable and incredibly complex, there have been no workable solutions to stopping their deadly impact on the central nervous system up until now.
Scientists are encouraged by the fact that such components have proven to be a viable treatment for serious degenerative brain disorders. They anticipate further research that will help to explain the mechanism behind the components that causes them to be so effective.
Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
The "amyloid plaque" theory of brain diseases is actually a westernized, reductionist mythology that prefers physical explanations for degenerative disease.
In reality, however, these amyloid plaques are merely symptoms of an underlying biochemical or energetic imbalance. Once you correct those imbalances, the plaques naturally go away. Correcting those imbalances, not surprisingly, involves radical alterations in diet as well as the complete avoidance of inflammatory, brain-damaging chemicals found in foods, medicines, personal care products and household items (like cleaning solvents).
Green tea really does work to help protect the brain from degenerative damage because it helps neutralize dangerous inflammatory chemicals before they can reach the brain and cause extensive damage. In this way, green tea indirectly helps prevent amyloid plaques, although that's really just a secondary side effect of green tea's primary protective functions.
Green tea, by the way, also helps prevent both breast cancers and prostate cancers. If you enjoy the benefits of green tea, try even more powerful superfoods such as spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae or spirulina! They each work in different ways. I take them all, including green tea.
There is a very strong link, by the way, between the cognitive function of the population and the future of any given nation. When brains become clouded with disease, the future of the nation begins to erode as voters (and their representatives) make poor decisions. The Roman Empire was destroyed by lead poisoning, it is believed. America may one day find itself failing under the burden of widespread cognitive failure caused by junk foods, psychotropic drugs, toxic personal care products, plastics chemicals and environmental toxins.
Aspartame alert: Diet soda destroys kidney function
Thursday, December 17, 2009 by: E. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have revealed results from a study outlining some of the effects of artificial sweeteners on the body. Conducted on a group of 3,000 women, the results indicated that those who drank two or more artificially-sweetened beverages a day doubled their risk of more-rapid-than-normal kidney function decline.
The study accounted for various other risk factors including the woman's age, her blood pressure, if she smoked, and if she had any other pre-existing conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. The 11-year study evaluated the effects of all sweetened drinks on progressive kidney decline and discovered that two or more diet drinks leads to a two-fold increase in rapid kidney decline incidences.
Though study results did not show any correlation between sugar- or corn syrup-sweetened drinks and the onset of rapid kidney decline, these ingredients are implicated in causing diabetes and obesity and should not be perceived as safe merely because they did not have a direct correlation in this particular study topic.
High sodium intake was also implicated in the study as promoting progressive kidney decline. Since diet soda contains excessive amounts of sodium, higher than sugar soda, it is no surprise that diet sodas were the primary offenders in the study. However it is unclear from this particular study which ingredient plays the larger role in progressive kidney decline, the artificial sweeteners or the sodium content.
Studies on aspartame
When aspartame was first approved in the 1970s under the name "NutraSweet", studies were submitted as supposed proof that the artificial chemical was safe. The FDA initially approved the chemical in 1974 for use in a limited number of foods based upon the studies submitted by G.D. Searle Co., the company that invented aspartame.
Following a discovery made shortly thereafter by a research psychiatrist who found that aspartic acid, a primary ingredient in aspartame, caused holes to form in the brains of mice, the FDA decided to form its own internal task force to investigate the initial claims made by the Searle Co.
What the agency discovered was a series of falsified claims, compromised study results, and missing information. The claims made in favor of aspartame were so dubious and the evidence so faulty that the FDA decreed that a grand jury should investigate Searle Co.'s claims. Unfortunately, the case failed to move forward when U.S. Attorney Thomas Sullivan and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Conlon failed to initiate any legal action. Conlon was later hired by the law firm that represented Searle Co.
Investigation revealed that aspartame had caused tumors, seizures, brain holes, and death in many of the studies.
 All negative findings had been altered or scrubbed from the final reports delivered to the FDA when aspartame was first reviewed.
Time and time again the question over whether aspartame is safe has led to investigations that never go anywhere. Studies are continually released in support of the chemical's safety even though they fail to address the results of other studies that show it to be harmful.
Other artificial sweeteners
A study published in the January, 2008 issue of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health revealed that the newer artificial sweetener, sucralose, alters gut microflora and inhibits the assimilation of dietary nutrients.
Commonly marketed as being "made from sugar", sucralose had undergone no long-term human studies to verify its safety in humans. Like aspartame, initial studies revealed negative reactions by lab animals on whom it was tested, indicating that there could be the same potential problems in humans.
The EU Food Commission, Canadian health officials, and the U.S. FDA all rejected the initial studies submitted by McNeil Nutritionals, the marketers of sucralose, because of the negative results. However they encouraged the company to continue researching until they "got it right". McNeil simply lowered the levels of sucralose used in their studies until an acceptable limit was found. After several tries, sucralose was finally approved.
Stevia, a safe alternative
A great many varieties of artificial sweeteners have been approved, many scandalously, despite the fact that safe, natural alternatives exist. Stevia, for instance, is a sweet herb from South America that is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Claiming inadequate safety research, the FDA has long refused the herb from being included on the "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) list.
Up until last year, all forms of stevia could only be sold as dietary supplements. The extract could not be labeled as a "sweetener" and it could not be included in any food items.
Once the parent companies of both Pepsi and Coca-Cola discovered how to manipulate and patent a segment of stevia, however, it suddenly became safe to use as a sweetener and is now sold on grocery store shelves in packets similar to the artificial sweeteners. The FDA reluctantly added the natural stevia extract to the GRAS list as well.
Stick with natural and unprocessed
When it comes to health, a person's best bet is to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether. There are plenty of preferable, safe alternatives such as stevia which will allow for a little extra sweetness without all the harmful side effects.

A Winning Lifestyle
By Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
October 29, 2009
With the epidemic of chronic disease and little hope for a decent health care package for America, you may not believe it’s possible to lower your risk of developing diabetes by 93%, heart attack by 81%, stroke by 50% and cancer by 36%. You may not believe it but it’s true. And what is the miracle pill that can do all that? Is it aspirin, is it the new polypill (see Puking up the Polypill), is it some new drug whose inventor is slated for the Nobel Prize? Nope, it’s lifestyle intervention!
Before you groan and turn on the TV, hear me out. We all know that not smoking, low body fat, exercising several hours per week and a healthy diet are good for you. Well now, science agrees with your mother. And hopefully doctors will get behind this important study. At a time when you, the public, are getting concerned about the overuse of prescription drugs and vaccines, you can be assured that simple lifestyle changes can change your life.
This wasn’t a quick 3-month drug-trial either. It went on for almost eight years and followed 23,153 people in Germany ages 35 to 65 years. Very real end points were measured like diabetes, stroke, heart attack and cancer. And those who didn’t smoke, had a BMI (body mass index) less than 30, and ate a healthy diet (greater amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, and less red meat) experienced far less “end points” than their peers.
The study was published in the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine, titled: Healthy Living is the Best Revenge. We can just see Late Late Night Talk Show Host Craig Ferguson raising his limp wristed fist and shouting, “Take that you pill-pushing doctors and pompous pharmaceutical companies.” Of course, he’ll get the words all mixed up and everyone will have a great laugh. But the laugh is on the conventional medical system because it has never supported lifestyle intervention.
Granted, in their 7 minutes appointments, doctors really don’t have time to outline a diet plan for their patients. But at the very least they could take 5 seconds and say the following sentence: “Cut back on your food intake, eat more vegetables, get more exercise, and stop smoking”. And now the doctors who won’t tell people to eat well because it hasn’t been “scientifically proven” to help, can rest assured that science is 100% behind their recommendation.
I’ve been working in the natural health field for over 30 years and I haven’t found a magic pill or celebrity supplement that will undo a lifetime of stresses. Yet, the body is very forgiving. If you Take some small steps to change your diet and begin to exercise, I promise you, your cells will remember why they were created and start improving their function.
If you want to know where to begin – start with your diet by avoiding sugar, wheat and dairy. The next step is to take some magnesium; it will help with your energy, sleep and aches and pains. You can read my book, The Magnesium Miracle or go to the many magnesium articles on my website to get you started. If you would like more detailed information on how to change your lifestyle and improve your health visit my website and sign up for my free newsletter that has tips and techniques for getting healthy and staying healthy. Even better, join my Future Health Now! wellness program*.
*Future Health Now! is an inexpensive series of 48 weekly "consulting sessions in print" and begins with a free module. Every seven days, I guide you step-by-step on how to add natural practices to your daily routine. Daily consistency will undoubtedly give you the best chance at lasting physical and mental health.
Lifestyle Changes Help Those with Arthritis
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 by: Alex Howard
(NaturalNews) Arthritis is an extremely common illness characterized by inflammation in the joints. There are two different types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Both of these can be mildly painful to completely debilitating. Many of the drugs used to treat arthritis cause terrible side effects. Fortunately, making some changes in lifestyle can prevent the issue and alleviate the symptoms.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is understood in part to be a pro-inflammatory auto-immune disorder. This means that the immune system is both over-active and damaging to the body`s own healthy cells. The immune system should be the body`s main line of defense against external foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses. When a person has rheumatoid arthritis, their immune system specifically attacks cartilage and tissue in and around the joints of the body. This creates pain, stiffness and swelling.
This type of arthritis is characterized by a progressive degeneration of the body`s cartilage which cushions and surrounds the joints - mostly the load bearing joints: hips, knees, spine and hands.
Osteoarthritis can be triggered by a joint injury, sports and exercise which place excessive pressure on the joint, as well as obesity. This creates inflammation, so both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis are pro-inflammatory conditions.
The traditional treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS); however, there are risks and side effects associated with this treatment:
- NSAIDS suppress cartilage formation and promote joint destruction
- NSAIDS increase gut permeability and promote systemic inflammation via absorption of toxins and gastrointestinal antigens
- Newer NSAIDS increase the risk of heart disease through silent inflammation that contributes to atherosclerosis
- Using NSAIDs treats the symptoms and not the underlying causes
Risk factors for developing arthritis include:
- Diet high in fat and sugar and wheat, and low in fruit and vegetables
- Diet high in acidifying artificial beverages e.g. cola
- Sedentary lifestyle and obesity
- Insufficient sleep
- Micro nutrient deficiency (i.e. of vitamins and minerals) caused by eating non-organic, processed and refined foods
- Lack of adequate sunlight or dietary sources of vitamin D- High intake or highly starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes and white flour products which promote overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut
- Stressful work or home environments promote hormone imbalances and may increase gut permeability leading to pain and inflammationFoods to avoid or cut down:
- Avoid common grains and/or allergens including wheat and cow`s milk as these can create chronic pro-inflammatory conditions in the body
- Avoid sugar, white flour products and starchy foods such as potatoes as these create blood sugar imbalances and feed bad bacteria in the gut, all leading to more inflammation in the body
- Avoid high intake of saturated fats such as fatty processed meats, hard cheeses, and cow`s milk as these can lead to obesity and chronic inflammation
- Avoid trans and hydrogenated oils as they increase free radical stress on the body and inflammation
- Do not eat lean red meat more than three times per week as it contains pro-inflammatory fats
- Avoid black tea, coffee, fizzy drinks as they are all acid forming
- Check if eggs and the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines, peppers, oranges, plums and rhubarb), which can also cause allergies, may be triggering pain. If so, avoid them and then re-introduce them back into the diet, one at a time after a month
Foods to increase:
- Protein such as fish, seeds and nuts to help maintain balanced insulin levels; imbalanced insulin leads to inflammation
- Whole fruits, such as apples, cherries, pineapple, grapes, oranges, bananas, kiwi, blueberries, blackberries, contain many anti-oxidants and alkalizing minerals which protect the body against damage from acidity and inflammation
- Vegetables: mixed greens, kale, chard, cucumbers, carrots as they provide alkalising mineralsto reverse acidity in the body which can create pain and inflammation
- Don`t cook with oil as they can create free radical stress on thebody
- Eat plenty of foods high in omega 3 oils which are very anti-inflammatory: walnuts, herring, mackerel, flax oil and seeds, tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies
- Eat plenty of foods high in quality omega 6, including most nuts and seeds which are also anti-inflammatory
- Eat plenty of foods containing vitamin D as deficiency can cause chronic musculoskeletal pain andinflammation; foods include cod liver oil, most oily fish (herring mackerel tuna, sardines, salmon)
- Use amaranth, quinoa, spelt, barley, millet and rye as wheat alternatives
- Use turmeric, cayenne pepper and rosemary to spice foods as these are all anti-inflammatory
- Use rice, soy or almond milk as dairy alternatives
Lifestyle Changes
- 20-30 minutes per day of full-body sun exposure would provide all the vitamin D you would require.
Avoid getting burnt in the sun though as this increase the chances of skin cancer
- Exercise for 30-60 minutes up to 5 times per week can improve joint lubrication and mobility, reducing pain and inflammation
- Find ways to deal with and reduce stressful relationships and job situations as they create hormonal imbalances and can reduce digestive ability promoting pain and inflammation.
Juice It Up!Wednesday, August 19, 2009 by: Dr. Julian Whitaker
(NaturalNews) Some mornings on my way to work, I drop by the local Jamba Juice store a block from my office and down 16 ounces of carrot juice and four ounces each of wheatgrass juice and a green tea energy drink. I drink this cocktail for overall health and vitality. The wheatgrass is full of vitamin K and amino acids, the carrot juice is packed with beta-carotene, and the green tea gives me a boost of caffeine and antioxidants to get my day started.
However, this is not a story about general health maintenance. It is about "targeted" juices that have predictable and rapid therapeutic effects on specific health conditions. Let's start with a very common problem: high blood pressure.
Celery Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
When you think about lowering blood pressure, celery probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But this crunchy vegetable deserves some serious attention. Loaded with potassium and magnesium, celery contains something even more important: 3-n-butyl-phthalide, a compound that relaxes the smooth muscle cells in the arterial walls, allowing the arteries to dilate and effectively lowering blood pressure.
One of the physicians at Whitaker Wellness decided to put celery to the test. Every day for a month, she and her father juiced and drank one bunch of celery, mixed with a little orange juice for flavor (it's somewhat bitter on its own). Her father's systolic blood pressure went from 148 to 128 and hers went from 120 to 105. Imagine results this dramatic without dangerous prescription drugs!
Another great juice for people with hypertension is Low-Sodium V8 Juice. It works on two fronts to lower blood pressure. First, it contains a particularly high dose of potassium (840 mg per eight ounces) that helps keep blood pressure in check. Second, according to a study recently published in JAMA, it is an effective blood thinner, which further contributes to its antihypertensive effects. For Ted, one of my longtime patients, simply drinking 12 ounces of Low-Sodium V8 Juice daily was enough to keep his blood pressure in the normal range.
Cabbage Juice Heals the Stomach
Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote more than 2,000 years ago that, as a digestive aid, "Cabbage surpasses all vegetables." One reason is its high content of glutamine, an amino acid that serves as a primary fuel for the rapidly dividing cells of the GI mucosa. Multiple studies support cabbage's reputation as a therapy for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, especially ulcers, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In one of them, cabbage juice healed peptic and duodenal ulcers in an incredible 92 percent of cases studied!
One person who swears by cabbage juice is a patient we'll call Betty, who was recently at the clinic. Betty was plagued with inflammation of the stomach lining and severe acid reflux. Her conventional doctor tried her on all the usual drugs, but nothing alleviated her pain or reduced the frequency of her episodes-until she came across an article on cabbage juice and decided to give it a shot.
Now whenever Betty has a flare-up, she drinks the juice from half a head of cabbage (yielding approximately four ounces of pleasant-tasting, slightly sweet juice) five times a day for about three days, in addition to copious amounts of water. This three day-regimen keeps her problem-free for eight or nine months-and I'll bet if she drank it religiously, she wouldn't have any problems at all.
Sauerkraut has also been touted for its ability to heal the stomach. In addition to the healthful compounds found in cabbage, this fermented food and its juice are also an excellent source of beneficial bacteria that nurture the GI tract. Eldon, a Health & Healing subscriber, eats it right from the jar to quell heartburn.
Cherry Juice Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Cherries make a mean pie, but a pain reliever? In recent years, cherries have been discovered to contain potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds called anthocyanins and other flavonoids that work on the same inflammation pathways as aspirin and NSAIDs to reduce pain. In fact, researchers from Michigan State University found that just 10 tart cherries pack the same pain-relieving punch as one or two aspirin-and offer a wallop of antioxidants to boot.
Cherries have also been shown to reduce gout. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid, which crystallizes in the joints and causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation. In a study conducted at the University of California Davis, eating eight ounces of cherries significantly reduced levels of plasma urate, a marker of uric acid. Cherries also produced small but notable decreases in markers of inflammation.
Francis, a friend of mine, squelches the gout pain in his big toe by eating cherries. And J. Otto Garry, a subscriber from Tamarac, Florida, has had great success treating his arthritis with cherry juice. He drinks three ounces in the morning and another three ounces in the evening to reduce and prevent inflammation. He also includes cod liver oil in his juice and takes alfalfa tablets along with it, which add to its anti-inflammatory value.
Cranberry Juice for UTIs
Everybody knows that cranberry juice can prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), but have you ever wondered why? Cranberries contain a combination of anthocyanins (the phytonutrient that gives both cranberries and cherries their rich color) and a unique sugar called mannose. Together, these compounds are responsible for thwarting UTIs by making it impossible for bacteria to cling to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract.
Ann, a subscriber I met at a Subscriber Seminar a while back, told me she used to have frequent UTIs until she started keeping a bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice in her fridge. Now when she feels a flare-up coming on, she drinks a glass or two daily for a few days, and she never gets infections anymore.
Judicious Juicing
As a general rule of thumb, I don't recommend drinking a lot of fruit juice as it is loaded with sugar and calories. However, the juices listed above boast too many healing properties to ignore. Judicious juicing offers an easy way to drink to your health and naturally knock out many pressing health concerns. Bottoms up!
*Some of the juices discussed here are already prepared. Look for Low-Sodium V8 in your grocery store. (Do not substitute regular V8; it contains way too much sodium. If your store doesn't carry it, ask them to order it for you.) You can find unsweetened cranberry and cherry juice at your local health food store. Cherry juice is also available from King Orchards, (877) 937-5464,
*You're going to have to make your own cabbage and celery juice-and you can make your own cranberry and cherry juice from fresh or frozen cranberries and pitted cherries, if you'd like. There are many quality juicers available in department and specialty stores. Look for one that suits your lifestyle and specific needs.
*Suggested doses, taken daily or as needed, are as follows: celery juice from one bunch; cabbage, 4 ounces from one-half head, two to five times a day; sauerkraut, one cup (if you're going to do this regularly, you're better off with cabbage juice because sauerkraut contains a lot of sodium); unsweetened cherry juice, one-half to one cup; unsweetened cranberry juice, one-half to one cup. (If any of these juices are too tart, dilute with water and add a little stevia or xylitol to sweeten.)
Discover the Powerful Benefits of Garlic
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 by: Henri Junttila,
(NaturalNews) Eating a clove of garlic might not be the tastiest snack in the world, but it will give you some powerful health benefits. Benefits include managing high cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk of various cancers. Garlic has been used for ages as a folk remedy for several diseases. Science is just now discovering how effective it really is in helping us become and stay healthy.
Supports Cardiovascular System
Over 250 publications have proven that garlic helps our cardiovascular system. It can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. Garlic can also inhibit platelet stickiness and increase fibrinolysis, which results in a decreased rate of blood coagulation.
Anti-Microbial Properties
Garlic may work against intestinal parasites because it has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. Garlic is said to have around 1 percent of the power of penicillin against certain bacteria. For example: Candida or yeast infections are successfully inhibited with garlic.
Cancer Fighting
In the October 2000 issue of the American Journal of Nutrition they concluded that several epidemiologic studies had proven the benefits of eating garlic for stomach cancer. Those who ate raw garlic regularly, compared to those who ate a small amount or none, had about half the risk of stomach cancer and one third decreased risk of colorectal cancer. It has also been discovered that when meat is cooked at high temperatures and burnt slightly with garlic, the carcinogenic compounds it produces are limited. Without garlic when meat is burnt, the carcinogenic compounds are much higher.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Garlic has been found to be very effective in lowering high blood pressure. The reason garlic is so effective is because it relaxes your arteries and it eases the spasm of smaller arteries. Garlic has also shown the ability to help with nausea, shortness of breath and gas in your digestive tract.
Garlic is best eaten in its natural form. Taking a garlic supplement might help you, but you want to make sure that the supplement is potent and is derived in the best natural way, so as to preserve all the natural compounds that are in it. There are many other benefits garlic has, and this article has just touched upon them. It could for example help you with skin disorders like acne, ear infections or even toothache. The possibilities are endless when you`re considering how to get garlic into your diet. Soups are always a good first choice to try!
Selenium Helps Remove Mercury from the Body
Thursday, July 30, 2009 by: Kirk Patrick
(NaturalNews) While high levels of Mercury are often found in large species of fish, a more important factor to consider is the relative amount of Selenium the fish contains. Selenium, also abundant in seafood, actually helps remove Mercury from the body. Thus, consuming certain types of seafood (and other foods) that have a high Selenium to Mercury ratio can purify the body of heavy metals even when the fish contains those same elements. This article will explore the benefits of Selenium, those foods with the highest Selenium content, and the Mercury to Selenium ratio of several types of fish.
What is Selenium?
Selenium is an essential trace mineral that functions as an antioxidant and promotes a healthy immune system. Selenium is required in remarkably small amounts, with recommended daily amounts measured in the millionths of a gram (micrograms). Selenium is also toxic in larger amounts. Selenium has strong anti-cancer effects and is known to help detoxify the body and remove heavy metals including Mercury.
In the early 1970's it was discovered that Selenium is incorporated into proteins to produce selenoproteins, important enzymes that are antioxidants (they destroy free radicals and prevent cellular damage). Selenoproteins boost the immune system and help regulate thyroid function.
How Much Selenium is Required?
The average person gets about 65 micrograms of Selenium per day. 200 micrograms is considered the optimal amount while 400 micrograms is the maximum allowable daily dose. Note that too much Selenium is highly toxic to the body.
* Symptoms of too little Selenium: Cancer, heart disease, fatigue, stunted growth, high cholesterol, compromised immune system function, liver impairment, pancreatic insufficiency and sterility.
* Symptoms of too much Selenium: Arthritis, brittle nails, bad breath, hair loss, irritability, liver and kidney problems, tooth loss, jaundice.
Note that in most places including South America, most of North America, Africa, Russia and China there is little or no selenium in the soil. Northern Nebraska and the Dakotas have very high levels of Selenium however.
Seafood: Selenium Benefits
According to a recent study by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, a new standard (called the Selenium-Health Benefit Value or Se-HBV) is being proposed by leading researchers to measure seafood safety.
The following types of fish have very high Se-HBV, containing between 10 and 25 times as much Selenium than Mercury. High quality servings of the following fish can be expected to lower blood levels of Mercury along with providing a healthy amount of Selenium.
* Yellowfin Tuna
* Albacore Tuna
* Skipjack Tuna
* Mahi Mahi
* Wahoo
Only one fish in the Western Pacific study (Mako shark) showed higher levels of Mercury than Selenium, while one other (Swordfish) had an even, 50/50 ratio of Mercury and Selenium.
Another study by Dr. Nicholas Ralston at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that (southern) Flounder and (wild Pacific) Salmon (including Chinook, Sockeye and Coho) have much more Selenium than Mercury. It also shows that Pilot Whale, Tarpon and most types of Shark should be avoided, with Grouper being about even.
Foods high in Selenium
* Brazil Nuts (dried, unblanched) - Brazil nuts are the only truly concentrated, natural source of Selenium, and may contain so much Selenium that one shouldn't consume too many! However different sources can vary based on the soil they are grown on. Brazil nuts can contain as much as 550 micrograms per ounce, an amount large enough to be toxic.
* Tuna (light, canned in oil) - a 3 ounce serving of Tuna contains nearly 100% the RDA of Selenium (about 63 while 65 micrograms is the RDA). Note that most cans contain dangerous BPA (Bisphonol-A, a hormone disruptor) in the liners and only two companies are known to not use this in their canned tuna. Meanwhile, higher quality tuna has as little as .08 ppm of Mercury per serving versus .38 ppm in lower quality sources.
Other foods that may contain Selenium in lesser amounts include kelp, molasses, whole wheat, turkey, chicken and beef.
Can Vitamin D Cure the Common Cold?
Dr. Mercola
March 21 2009
In the largest study yet of the association between vitamin D and respiratory infections, people with the lowest blood vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu. The risks were even higher for those with chronic respiratory disorders such as asthma.
Vitamin C has been used for the prevention of colds for decades, but little scientific evidence supports its effectiveness. In contrast, evidence has accumulated that vitamin D plays a key role in the immune system. The wintertime deficiency of vitamin D, which the body produces in response to sunlight, has been implicated in the seasonal increase in colds and flu, and previous small studies have suggested an association between low blood levels of vitamin D and a higher risk of respiratory infections.
The newest study analyzed blood levels of vitamin D from almost 19,000 adult and adolescents, selected to be representative of the overall U.S. population.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:It’s exciting to see such a large-scale study confirm the previous findings by Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council. He first introduced the hypothesis that influenza is merely a symptom of vitamin D deficiency in the paper Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D, published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection two years ago, followed up with another study published in the Virology Journal last year.
This latest study is the largest and most nationally representative of its kind to date, involving about 19,000 Americans. In conclusion, lead author Dr. Adit Ginde stated:
"The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu. Individuals with common lung diseases, such as asthma or emphysema, may be particularly susceptible to respiratory infections from vitamin D deficiency."
What is a “Healthy” Vitamin D Level?In the United States, the late winter average vitamin D level is only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a very serious deficiency state. It’s estimated that over 95 percent of U.S. senior citizens may be deficient, along with 85 percent of the American public.
It’s not so surprising then that the average American adult typically gets two colds per year. And those who are seriously deficient may suffer at least one additional one. But that’s under the current, now outdated, guidelines for normal vitamin D levels. I strongly believe you could avoid colds and influenza entirely by maintaining your vitamin D level in the optimal range.
In this study, the median serum 25(OH)D level was 29 ng/mL, which is just below what’s considered “normal.” Actually, the author of the article in Scientific American above got this one wrong, stating 30 ng/mL was considered “optimal.” It is not.
It’s important to realize that what’s conventionally considered normal is NOT the same as optimal.
Some experts may disagree with the latest vitamin D ranges below, but they are derived from large-scale clinical research findings, based on healthy people in tropical or subtropical parts of the world who receive healthy sun exposures. It seems more than reasonable to assume that these values are in fact reflective of your optimal requirements. In this latest study, those whose vitamin D levels were below 10 ng/mL had a 36 percent greater risk of getting a cold, and those with levels between 10-30 ng/mL experienced a 24 percent greater risk compared with participants whose levels were at least 30 ng/mL.
Those with asthma who were also deficient in vitamin D were five times more likely to get sick than asthmatics with normal levels.
However, if you were to maintain your vitamin D levels within the optimal range shown above, you would likely avoid being affected during the cold and flu season entirely.
How Do You Know if You’re Deficient?I believe it’s imperative that you have your vitamin D levels checked on a regular basis, to make sure you’re maintaining optimal levels.
This is not as important if you’re getting your vitamin D from appropriate sun exposure during the summer months, as your body will not overdose on vitamin D created through tanning. However, always get your levels tested if you are taking an oral vitamin D supplement.
It is typically not necessary to do this before you start taking vitamin D but you should do it after a few weeks to a month to confirm what your level is and make sure that you are taking the correct dose.
The one caution here in the US is to be certain your test is performed at a lab like Labcorp, that uses the gold standard Diasorin test for checking vitamin D levels. Due to information published by the New York Times about Quest labs, where they admitted to inaccurate results, I no longer recommend using them.
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.
Government Recommendations for Vitamin D Levels May Soon Change
The most recent recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which are 12 years old, recommend only 200-600 IU’s of vitamin D per day. But it’s important to realize that these recommendations were based on the vitamin D's impact on bone health, not immunity, cancer protection, or overall health.
Fortunately, due to the recent landslide of excellent vitamin D studies, the IOM is expected to review and revise their recommendation in May 2010. That’s still a ways out though, and I strongly suggest you don’t wait until then to take another look at your vitamin D status.
Likewise, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently doubled its recommended dose of vitamin D for children. Unfortunately this is still a woefully inadequate recommendation as the dose should be TEN times larger. Rather than going from 200 to 400 units per day, it should have increased to about 2,000 units per day.
And for adults, the appropriate dose would likely be closer to 4,000-5,000 units per day, but it could be even higher. In fact, according to Dr. Heaney, your body requires 4,000 IU’s daily just to maintain its current vitamin D level. So in order to actually raise your levels, you’d have to increase either your exposure to sunshine, or supplement with oral vitamin D3 (which I do not recommend without having your levels tested first).
One thing is clear. By maintaining optimal vitamin D levels, you will help prevent not only colds and flu, but all manner of disease, and maintain good health.
For a great overview of the nearly unbelievable health benefits of this vitamin, I strongly recommend you watch my one-hour free vitamin D lecture.
Related Links:
Avoid Flu Shots With the One Vitamin that Will Stop Flu in Its Tracks
What is the Real Cause of Influenza Epidemics?
Why Sunlight is Your Best Source of Vitamin D
News Alert: Common Childhood Vaccination Promotes New Superbugs
Dr. Mercola
October 06 2007
The use of the vaccine Prevnar, which has successfully curbed pneumonia, meningitis, and deadly bloodstream infections in young children for the past seven years, has now unleashed a superbug that is resistant to all currently available drugs.
Prevnar covers seven of the 90-odd strains of the strep bacteria, and although diseases from the seven covered strains have declined dramatically, one strain called 19A has developed super resistance and is spreading.
Used in a dozen countries, Prevnar had sales of more than $1.5 billion dollars last year alone. In the U.S. Prevnar is given to infants as four shots between the age of 2 months and 15 months.
Nine toddlers in Rochester, NY have had the bug and researchers expect it to turn up elsewhere as well, spreading through day care centers and schools.
The nine children were all unsuccessfully treated with two or more antibiotics, including high-dose amoxicillin and multiple shots of another drug. Several of the children had to have ear tubes surgically inserted, and some recovered only after undergoing treatment with newer, more powerful antibiotics approved for adults only.
According to Dr. Cynthia Whitney, chief of respiratory diseases at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Avoiding antibiotics when they are not needed is the best way to ensure they will work when they are.”
Dr. Mercola's Comments:Yes, avoiding antibiotics at all costs is important. But what Dr. Whitney failed to address is the overuse of childhood vaccines as well.
Is There a Vaccine Against Fear?Fear – in the case of Prevnar, fear that your baby might contract pneumonia, meningitis, or a deadly bloodstream infection and die -- is typically the driving force used to sell vaccines and other medications, as you can see by these examples.
A West Nile Virus vaccine
Chickenpox vaccine
A drug for breast cancer (for women who DO NOT HAVE breast cancer)
A human vaccine for bird flu
Female HPV vaccine for boys
One of the best ways to ensure optimal health for your baby is quite simple: breast-feeding, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. Breastfed infants get automatic added protection against numerous diseases and infections, including:
Heart disease
Immune system cancers such as lymphoma
Bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections
I've posted many articles on this site about the perils of vaccines -- specifically the presence of thimerosal -- including extensive features by contributing editors and a board-certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock.
More than six years ago, the EPA mandated the removal of thimerosal, which contains almost 50 percent ethyl mercury by weight, but due to mislabeling and other problems its presence is still being felt. So much so that even package inserts, which are required to detail exactly what is in a vaccine, may not even be accurate.
For this reason, before making a decision on vaccinating your children, I strongly urge you review the many side effects and risks involved in being subjected to this potentially life-threatening preservative. Making the effort could mean the difference between life and death for your children. Remember: Vaccines can cause illnesses including autoimmune diseases, allergies, ear infections, and more
There’s a very real link between vaccines and developmental learning and behavioral disorders in children
Vaccines have never been proven safe
The ingredients and contaminants in vaccines are detrimental to your health
If you are a parent, a medical practitioner, or otherwise interested in how to exercise your freedom of choice to bypass vaccines, please also consider this insightful 90-minute teleconference interview, The Dangers of Vaccines, and How You Can Legally Avoid Them.
Reducing the Risk of Developing New SuperbugsOveruse of certain vaccines (such as Prevnar), antibiotics, and antibacterial household products like hand soap and cleaners, all contribute to the upsurge of drug-resistant superbugs.
There is actually no need to ever use antibacterial hand soap, as there’s plenty of evidence showing that nothing works better to cut germs than simply washing your hands with plain soap and water!
Limiting your use of ALL of these drugs and common household products can help curb these new diseases, and there ARE other, natural options available, even within the medical setting.
For example, last month I reported that Manuka honey has, for the first time in the U.S., been approved for use as a medical device, and honey-based wound and burn dressings are being manufactured by a New Jersey company.
David Wolfe: Best Raw Food Diet
David Wolfe on Best Drinking Water
David Wolfe on SuperFoods
David Wolfe Raw Chocolate Interview (Part 1)
David Wolfe Raw Chocolate Interview (Part 2)
David Wolfe Raw Chocolate Interview (Part 3)
Dr. Weston A. Price was a dentist and dental researcher who went on an investigation that spanned the globe to determine why native populations, who ate traditional foods, exhibited perfect physical health well into old age.His research took him to remote tribal communities -- Swiss, Eskimos, Polynesians, Africans, New Zealanders, and more -- and what he discovered made him one of the foremost authorities on the role of foods in their natural form, and the development of degenerative illnesses as a result of the addition of processed foods to your diet. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, stands as a classic work on the subject.
The video below delves into Dr. Price’s work in greater detail, and provides insight into why eating your traditional diet of locally grown, seasonal, raw foods is so important to your health.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Dr. Weston A. Price was one of the major nutritional pioneers of all time. He was a dentist around 1900 who noticed something that health care practitioners still try to deny today: that with the introduction of processed food, health started to decline. Specifically, Dr. Price noticed an incredible increase in tooth decay when people began eating processed foods. When he began his journey around the world, he found that, as he suspected, native people who were still eating their traditional diets had nearly perfect teeth. I am constantly amazed at how powerful a predictor of health your teeth are. When I have seen chronically ill patients with nearly cavity-free teeth, I am encouraged that they will likely get well quickly. If, on the other hand, their mouths are full of fillings and root canals, the prognosis is not as good. Dr. Price also used teeth as an indicator of overall health, and his classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is full of wonderful pictures documenting the perfect teeth of the native tribes he visited who were still eating their traditional diets. The Price-Pottenger Foundation created this video, and they are one of the two primary organizations that promote the work of this great scientist. Interestingly, they just converted thousands of Dr. Price’s previously unpublished research photos from around the world, and they plan on releasing that soon. They also have an amazing archive of books that Dr. Price and many others wrote and hope to have Google digitize them and make them available. If anyone reading this knows how to connect with the Google library scanning project please contact our customer service department and let us know as this would be a major benefit to all of us. Dr. Price was a dentist so he focused on dental health, and he found that native people eating native diets did not get tooth decay.
The Healthy Ingredients of Native Diets
What makes Dr. Price’s work so incredible is that even though it was written in 1920, it is still very true today. That is one of the signs of a health truth: it lasts for many years. If it was true in 1907 in should be true in 2007. Dr. Price noticed some similarities between the native diets that allowed the people to thrive. Among them:
The foods were natural, unprocessed, and organic (and contained no sugar except for the occasional bit of honey or maple syrup).
The people ate foods that grew in their native environment. In other words, they ate locally grown, seasonal foods.
Many of the cultures ate unpasteurized dairy products, and all of them ate fermented foods.
The people ate a significant portion of their food raw.
All of the cultures ate animal products, including animal fat and, often, full-fat butter and organ meats.
When Dr. Price analyzed his findings, he found that the native diets contained ten times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins, and at least four times the amount of calcium, other minerals, and water-soluble vitamins as that of Western diets at that time. Their diets were also rich in enzymes because they ate fermented and raw foods (enzymes help you to digest cooked foods). Another major factor that made the native diets so healthy was that their intake of omega-3 fats was at least ten times higher than in today’s diet. Regular readers of the newsletter know that today most people’s ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats (from vegetable oils) is far from the ideal 1:1 ratio of our ancestors. Today, most people eat far too many omega-6 fats and far too few omega-3 fats, leading to a ratio that’s more like 20:1 or even 50:1!
How YOU Can Take Advantage of Dr. Price’s Pioneering Work
Even though we live lives that are far different from those of our ancestors, you can still benefit from their traditional diets by making some simple changes in your own life. Namely:
Find out your nutritional type, and eat accordingly. This will tell you which foods are ideal for your unique biochemistry.
Eat at least one-third of your food raw.
Avoid processed foods and all artificial flavorings, colorings, and artificial sweeteners. Instead, seek out locally grown foods that are in-season.
Enjoy fermented foods like kefir and cultured veggies.
Make sure you eat enough healthy fats, including those from animal sources like omega-3 fat, and reduce your intake of omega-6 from vegetable oils.
Now Dr. Price's Land Mark Book is Available for FREE
And, if you have any interest in natural health, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is a MUST read. In fact, you don’t even have to read the book as the pictures it contains say it all. You can purchase it at Amazon. However, the online book is the original edition and many chapters have been added in recent times. These include letter from Dr. Price to his his nieces and correspondence between him and J. I. Rodale. The online book also does not have 54 photos which have been subsequently added. For Additional InformationYou can also learn more from the Price-Pottenger Foundation and the Weston A. Price Foundation. I am proud to be on their advisory boards and would encourage you to consider joining their organizations. They are dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research, and activism.
Ultimate Smoothie - David Wolfe (Part 1)
Ultimate Smoothie - David Wolfe (Part 2)
Ultimate Smoothie - David Wolfe (Part 3)