Monday, April 14, 2014

If You Know What's Good For You ... (Part 17)

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The Secrets of Sugar - the fifth estate - CBC News
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Eat More Fat? -- Amazing Results  
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Obesity Epidemic Goes Global: One-in-Three Is Now Overweight or Obese
By Dr. Mercola
June 11, 2014
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 110,000 Americans die as a result of obesity each year, and that one-third of all cancers are directly related to excess weight.
Data collected from over 60,000 Canadians also shows that obesity now leads to more doctor visits than smoking. One in four Americans is also pre-diabetic or diabetic, and heart disease and cancer—both of which are associated with obesity—top the mortality charts.
According to Christopher Murray, one of the authors of a comprehensive new analysis published in The Lancet, all this excess body weight causes an estimated 3.4 million deaths worldwide each year. As noted by Bloomberg:
"The estimated number of overweight or obese people almost tripled from 857 million in 1980 [to 2.1 billion in 2013]... Worldwide prevalence of obesity and overweight rose by 28 percent for adults and by 47 percent for children from 1980 and 2013...
'The rise in obesity among children is especially troubling in so many low- and middle-income countries,' Marie Ng, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of Global Health at the University of Washington, said in a statement.
'We know that there are severe downstream health effects from childhood obesity, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many cancers.'"
Obesity Is Now a Global Health Threat

It's easy to think of obesity as a problem affecting only the wealthiest of nations, but recent research shows that even developing countries are increasingly plagued by expanding waistlines. The featured analysis discovered that more than half of the world's obese people congregate in 10 countries: United States, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan, and Indonesia. The analysis also reveals that:
One-third of the global population (about 2.1 billion people) is now overweight or obese, 671 million of which fall into the obese category
Worldwide, rates of obesity among children have risen by 50 percent between 1980 and 2013
In Tonga, more than half of all adults, both men and women, are obese
In Kuwait, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Libya, Qatar, and Samoa, more than half of all women are obese
Of the more than 180 countries analyzed, the US carries the heaviest obesity burden, followed by China and India. Obese Americans account for about 13 percent of the world's obese people, while China and India together account for 15 percent of the total

Non-starchy, carb-rich, highly processed foods, along with being in continuous feast mode, are primary drivers of these statistics. Wherever a highly processed food diet becomes the norm, obesity inevitably follows.
Americans are notorious for eating a primarily processed diet, so it's not surprising that we have the highest obesity rate in the world. What's worse, the rate of "extreme obesity" in the US (defined here as people with a BMI above 40) has risen by 350 percent over the past few years alone!
It's also worth noting that it's the poorest Americans have the highest obesity rate, another indication that there's something in cheap processed foods that promote weight gain. Sadly, lower food prices apply primarily to packaged processed foods.
And if you base your diet on these foods, you are virtually guaranteed to experience weight gain, as they are loaded with sugar, fructose, and grains, all of which will pack on unnecessary pounds and make it more difficult to get excess weight off.

Skyrocketing Obesity Is the Result of Misleading Health Information

Previous estimates have suggested that more than one billion people may be categorized as obese by 2030. According to the featured analysis, we're already at 671 million. Clearly, something must be done to curb this trend. But what's really at the heart of this global problem? As stated by Murray:
"Countries need to be looking at how they communicate effectively both what people eat and how much they should be eating. Because what we've been doing up until now isn't working. Strategies to tackle obesity need to address both physical activity, total caloric intake and the different foods we eat."

Indeed, most of the conventional information about what makes for a healthy diet is flat out wrong, and is actually causing or significantly contributing to obesity. The US government also focuses the lion's share of agricultural subsidies on crops used as processed food ingredients, primarily corn and soy, instead of health promoting whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

If You Follow These Conventional Health Guidelines, You Place Your Health at Risk...

It's one thing for corporations to put out misleading junk food ads. Honesty is not in the self-interest of the processed junk food and beverage industry. It's another when the government falls in line with for-profit deception and becomes a propagator of corporate propaganda drivel. And this is exactly what has happened. Conventional advice that is driving public health in the wrong direction includes the following, but this is just a tiny sampling of the pervasive misleading information on weight and obesity disseminated by our government agencies.
A more complete list of conventional health myths could easily fill several books. The unfortunate truth is that the very industries that profit from these lies are the ones funding most of the research, infiltrating our regulatory agencies, and bribing our political officials to support their financially-driven agenda through any number of legal, and at times not so legal, means.
"Cut calories to lose weight": Contrary to popular belief, calories are NOT created equal, and will not have identical effects your weight or health. Counting calories, therefore, will not help you lose weight if you're still consuming the wrong kind of calories while cutting out the good ones. When it comes to calories, it is far more important to look at the source of the calories than counting them. Dr. Robert Lustig, an expert on the metabolic fate of sugar, explains that fructose in particular is "isocaloric but not isometabolic."
This means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. One of the key dietary changes that you need to implement if you want to lose weight is to swap out carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) for larger amounts of vegetables and healthy fat, and to be moderate in your protein consumption.
The reason why this is so important is because starchy carbs, like potatoes and rice, sugar and grains, but fructose in particular) elevate your insulin and leptin levels. These two hormones play key roles in weight management and fat regulation, and chronically elevated levels ultimately lead to insulin resistance and fat accumulation. Fats and proteins affect insulin and leptin to a far lesser degree.
How much fructose is too much? If you are obese or have insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease, you'd be wise to limit your fructose to 15 grams per day or less from all sources until your insulin level is normalized. After that, proceed with caution. For all others, my standard recommendation is to limit your fructose consumption to a max of 25 grams per day.
"Choose 'diet' foods to lose weight": Substances like Splenda (sucralose) and Equal or Nutrasweet (aspartame) may have zero calories, but your body isn't fooled. When it gets a "sweet" taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this doesn't occur it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that may actually lead to weight gain. If you're overweight, you probably need probiotics (beneficial bacteria), NOT artificial sweeteners. In many respects, fermented foods would be a more accurate description of a true "diet food."
About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and research shows that probiotics affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to ensure optimal gut flora. As for beverages, clean, pure water is your best bet. It's really the only liquid your body truly needs.
"Avoid saturated fat to protect your heart health": The myth that saturated fat causes heart disease has undoubtedly harmed an incalculable number of lives over the past several decades, even though it all began as little more than a scientifically unsupported marketing strategy for Crisco cooking oil. Most people are insulin and leptin resistant and actually would benefit from anywhere between 50-85 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fats such as organic, pastured eggs, avocados, coconut oil, real butter and grass-fed beef in order to optimize their health.
Increasing your healthy fat consumption is particularly important once you decrease grain carbs. Many believe you need grain carbs for fuel, but fat is actually a far better energy source. Saturated fat is the preferred fuel for your heart, and it's also used as a source of fuel during high levels of activity. Fats also slow down absorption of your meal so that you feel full longer, which helps prevent snacking.
"Reduce your cholesterol to extremely low levels": Cholesterol is actually NOT the major culprit in heart disease or any disease, and the guidelines that dictate what number your cholesterol levels should be to keep you "healthy" are fraught with conflict of interest -- and have never been proven to be good for your health.
Junk Food Marketing Tactics Rival Those of Big Tobacco 
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Another major factor in the obesity epidemic is that kids are a primary target for processed food and beverage manufacturers. They know that lifelong taste preferences are set early on in life, and children are inundated with junk food marketing; at home, in public places, and at school. Food advertising is far from innocent when it comes to creating a global obesity pandemic. According to recent research into food addiction, "highly processed foods can lead to classic signs of addiction like loss of control, tolerance, and withdrawal." What other industry is infamous for aggressively marketing a highly addictive product to kids?
Big Tobacco... And just like the tobacco industry, the processed food industry is fighting tooth and nail to divert responsibility away from their products when questions are raised about the root causes of obesity and food addiction. Stone-wall as they might though, the processed food industry has created an entire field of science devoted to creating flavors and textures that people will crave, and junk food addiction is very real indeed.
Kids do not become obese because they're too lazy and eat too much. They become obese because they get addicted to processed foods that create metabolic havoc. Isn't it time to hold the processed food industry accountable for what they're selling, and how and to whom they direct their marketing? UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, thinks so. Speaking at the opening of the 2014 World Health Organization's annual summit, he warned that "obesity is a bigger global health threat than tobacco use." He's calling for nations to join forces to place stricter regulations on unhealthy foods:
"Just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a bold framework convention on adequate diets must now be agreed," he said.
Exercise and Intermittently Fasting—Two Important Allies in Your Efforts to Be Lean
Besides addressing what you eat, you would also be wise to consider when you eat. A growing body of evidence shows that intermittent fasting is really effective for losing weight and improving your insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. This makes sense when you consider that our ancestors didn't have access to food 24/7. Your body is indeed "programmed" to undergo "famine" from time to time.
One of the mechanisms that makes intermittent fasting so effective for weight loss is the fact that it helps your body to shift from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel. It also provokes the natural secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), which is a fat-burning hormone. Fasting also increases catecholamines, which increases resting energy expenditure, while decreasing insulin levels, which allows stored fat to be burned for fuel. To learn more about the specific how tos of intermittent fasting, please see my previous article, "What the Science Says about Intermittent Fasting."
Another important factor for weight loss is exercising efficiently, which means including high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training also boosts HGH production, which is essential for optimal health, fitness, and weight management. So along with core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching, I highly recommend doing Peak Fitness exercises–which raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period—two to three times per week.
Together, intermittent fasting, high intensity exercise, and eating a healthy diet will turn you into an effective fat-burning machine. Again, in terms of diet, you'll want the bulk of your meals to be vegetables and healthy fat, a moderate amount of organic, grass-fed or pastured protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates (sugar/fructose/grains).
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The surprising health benefits of potatoes
Michael Ravensthorpe
Friday, May 02, 2014
(NaturalNews) Regular white potatoes are one of the most controversial vegetables from a health perspective. Like many nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, potatoes are often associated with adverse reactions and can be difficult to find in high-quality form. That they're the main ingredient in countless junk food products, such as French fries, doesn't exactly bolster their public reputation either.
In reality, however, organic potatoes grown in good soil and prepared properly (i.e. boiled or baked, not microwaved or fried) contain a surprising number of health benefits. The fact that certain populations throughout history, notably the rural populations of Ireland in the 19th century, could almost single-handedly survive on them is a testament to this fact. This article takes a closer look at those benefits.
Rich in disease-fighting vitamin C
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C. In fact, the Spanish explorers who brought them to Europe from South America in the early 16th century kept potatoes aboard their vessels to prevent scurvy. A large boiled potato contains approximately 37 percent of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, while a large baked potato contains 48 percent of our RDI. Vitamin C is, of course, an essential antioxidant with anti-aging and disease-fighting properties. Long-term consumption of vitamin C-rich foods has been shown to prevent cancer, improve skin and hair quality, and tackle most known viruses.
High concentrations of phytochemicals
Most people tend to associate phytochemicals with colorful or leafy green vegetables, and potatoes, being a rather bland shade of yellow, really don't look like they could contain much of them. According to the American plant geneticist Roy Navarre, however, nothing could be further from the truth. After scrutinizing over 100 types of commercially-available potato, his team managed to discover over 60 different kinds of health-boosting phytochemicals and vitamins within them including chlorogenic acid, numerous phenolics (such as flavonoids) and kukoamines. Kukoamines were a particularly shocking find since these natural chemicals, which are known to reduce blood pressure, were believed to be unique to the Chinese superfruit, goji berries.
Great natural sources of iodine
Baked potatoes are the best land-based sources of iodine. In fact, just one medium-sized baked potato consumed with skin (which is where most of the iodine is concentrated) contains 40 percent of our RDI of this essential trace mineral. Iodine is most commonly found in sea-based foods (such as seaweed and fish) and is responsible for regulating the thyroid gland, which in turn regulates the metabolism. Sadly, iodine deficiencies are rampant in today's society due to the mineral-depleting effects of ongoing soil erosion, making easily-available sources of it, like potatoes, something to treasure.
Dense in nutrients
Potatoes also supply us with high amounts of vitamin B6 (an important cell builder), potassium (helps to regulate water balance), soluble and insoluble fiber (flushes toxins from the colon and promotes regularity) and the essential macromineral magnesium, which is one of the most commonly-reported mineral deficiencies in the United States. Magnesium is known as the "relaxation" mineral because a deficiency in it invokes stress-related symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and irritability.
Note: Despite their benefits,
potatoes are still starchy carbohydrates and have a high glycemic index load for a vegetable. For those worried about blood sugar spikes but still want to eat potatoes, adding some high-quality oil or butter to the meal can help mitigate this. The fats in these foods prevent the potatoes from being metabolized too quickly. In fact, potatoes with extra virgin olive oil is a staple meal in several Mediterranean countries, and one is unlikely to find a healthier people.
Sources for this article include:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=48
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep07/potato0907.htm
http://www.nutraingredients.com
http://nutritiondata.self.com
http://nutritiondata.self.com
http://science.naturalnews.com/Potatoes.html
About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website,
Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.
 
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How Exercise Can Help You Live Longer

By Dr. Mercola
May 02, 2014
One of the key things you can do to extend not only the quantity of your years, but also the quality, is to make a few simple changes to your lifestyle. One of the most important changes is regulating your insulin and leptin levels through diet and exercise.
I've often stated that your diet accounts for about 80 percent of the benefits you'll reap from a healthy lifestyle, but even if you're eating the best diet in the world, you still need to exercise effectively to reach your highest level of health.
This means incorporating core-strengthening exercises, strength training, stretching, and high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength, vigor, and yes—longevity.
That said, intermittent movement is equally (if not more) critical for maximizing the quality of your life. Chronic, undisrupted sitting—even if you maintain an optimum fitness program—has been found to be an independent risk factor for premature death. Intermittent movement is nothing more than the interruption of sitting, which can be done simply by standing up every 15 minutes or so. Physical activity also produces biochemical changes that strengthen and renew your brain—particularly areas associated with memory and learning.
Dementia may not be commonly regarded as a "killer disease." But the fact is that Alzheimer's disease now claims an estimated half a million American lives each year, making it the third most lethal disease in the US, right after heart disease and cancer! Loss of cognitive function, regardless of severity, also certainly impacts your quality of life.

Exercise Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease, Even if You Have Risk Factors
As recently discussed in the New York Times, one of the ways exercise helps you live longer is by lowering your risk for heart disease. It cites a recent Australian study published in PLOS One, which set out to quantify the role of exercise when it comes to reducing the risk for cardiac disease.
Using health screening data collected from more than 8,600 Australian men and women 15 years prior to the study, the researchers determined each person's Framingham Risk Score at the time of data collection.
The "Framingham Risk Score" is an algorithm that was developed decades ago. By inputting health conditions thought to be risk factors for heart disease—conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and so on—it estimates your risk for having a cardiac event within the next decade.
This calculation does NOT take exercise into account, however, and this is what the featured study sought to investigate. Could exercise override or ameliorate other risk factors for heart disease?
Regular Brisk Walking Can Cut Your 10-Year Heart Disease Risk in Half
The study participants were divided into three groupings based on their reported exercise levels at the time of data collection:
Those who never or rarely exercised
Regular brisk walking and/or occasional vigorous exercise
Those who worked out daily, and often vigorously
Next, they checked the national death registry to determine who had died since the health data was collected, and the cause of death. Most of those who had perished from heart disease had had high Framingham Risk Scores. But the level of reported exercise did turn out to be an important factor for who lived and who died. As reported by the New York Times:
"Overall, people in the lowest exercise category had about twice the risk of dying from heart disease as those in the middle group and six times the risk of those in the group who exercised the most often and vigorously. More surprising, when the researchers controlled for each volunteer's Framingham risk score and waist size, they found that exercising still significantly reduced people's risk of dying from heart disease. The benefits were fainter, amounting to about half as much risk reduction as before adjustment for these health factors.
But they accrued even among volunteers who had less-than-ideal blood pressure, cholesterol levels or waistlines. Someone with a high Framingham score who exercised had less risk of dying than someone with a similar score who did not."
Walking Also Cuts Stroke Risk in Elderly Men
Other research published in the November 2013 issue of the journal Stroke found that daily walking reduced the risk of stroke—another potentially lethal cardiovascular event—in men over the age of 60. A stroke involves either a rupture of an artery that feeds your brain (hemorrhagic stroke), or an obstruction of blood flow (ischemic stroke), with the ischemic type representing 75 percent of all strokes.
Nearly 3,500 men between the ages of 60 and 80 participated in the study, and here, they were divided into five groups, depending on how long they walked each week:
Those who walked 0-3 hours/week
4-7 hours/week
8-14 hours/week
15-21 hours/week
More than 22 hours/week
The findings suggest that walking for at least an hour or two could cut a man's stroke risk by as much as one-third, and it didn't matter how brisk the pace was. Taking a three-hour long walk each day slashed the risk by a healthy two-thirds.
To Take Exercise as 'Medicine'—Mind Your Dose 
Research and experience clearly tell us that exercise is a powerful medicine. But while the elderly may reap sufficient rewards by simply staying in motion for as long as possible each day, younger people (including those in middle age) would do well to pick up the pace and intensity.
As noted in the Australian study above, compared to those who exercised daily, and often vigorously, sedentary people had a SIX TIMES greater risk of dying from heart disease over the course of 15 years. There's not a pill on earth that can bolster your life expectancy that much!
I've often stated that to optimize your benefits from exercise, you'll want to push your body hard enough for a challenge, while still allowing adequate time for recovery and repair. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with high intensity interval training (HIIT), which consists of short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by longer periods of recovery, as opposed to extended episodes of continuous vigorous exertion. This is a core part of my Peak Fitness program, and the Australian study makes a case for the wisdom of such an approach
Exercising in Your 20s May Result in a Sharper Middle-Aged Mind 
In related fitness news, researchers at the University of Minnesota have again highlighted the link between exercise, heart health, and brain health. They examined data collected over a 25-year period from 2,700 American men and women, concluding that those who had greater cardiorespiratory fitness in their teens and 20s scored better on cognitive tests in their mid-40s and 50s.
For each additional minute spent on the treadmill during the initial test, he or she was able to accurately recall 0.12 more words at follow-up 25 years later. Those who were fitter in their early adulthood also scored better on tests designed to assess reaction speed and the mental agility needed to answer trick questions. Here, the impact of fitness was again deemed to be independent of other dementia-related risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking.
As discussed in a recent post, obesity is associated with cognitive decline, in part because it increases levels of inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines in your body, which are strongly damaging to brain function. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, it appears your body may react to excess fat as an invader, causing levels of cytokines to stay elevated, thereby causing chronic inflammation.
Exercise is, of course, a key ingredient for weight loss. But it's also a simple yet remarkably potent way to lower your levels of inflammatory cytokines, which will help protect your brain function.
Physical exercise has also been found to protect against other age-related brain changes. For example, those who exercise the most tend to have the least amount of brain shrinkage over time. Not only that, but exercise actually causes your brain to grow in size. For example, Kirk I. Erickson, PhD of the University of Pittsburgh found that adults aged 60 to 80 who walked for 30 to 45 minutes, three days per week for one year, showed a two percent increase in the volume of their hippocampusHYPERLINK \l "_edn11"11 — a brain region associated with memory.
For Total Body-Mind Health, Adopt a Well-Rounded Fitness Program 
Ideally, you'll want to strive for a varied and well-rounded fitness program that incorporates a wide variety of exercises. As a general rule, as soon as an exercise becomes easy to complete, you need to increase the intensity and/or try another exercise to keep challenging your body. Additionally, as I mentioned in the beginning, more recent research has really driven home the importance of non-exercise movement.
My interview with NASA scientist Dr. Joan Vernikos goes into great detail why this is so, and what you can do to effectively counteract the ill effects of prolonged sitting. Truly, the key to health is to remain as active as you can, all day long, but that doesn't mean you have to train like an athlete for hours a day. It simply means, whenever you have a chance to move and stretch your body in the course of going about your day—do it! And the more frequently, the better. That said, I recommend incorporating the following types of exercise into your overall fitness regimen:
Interval (Anaerobic) Training: This is when you alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentle recovery periods.
Strength Training: Rounding out your exercise program with a one-set strength training routine will ensure that you're really optimizing the possible health benefits of a regular exercise program. You can also "up" the intensity by slowing it down. For more information about using super slow weight training as a form of high intensity interval exercise, please see my interview with Dr. Doug McGuff.
Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles located mostly in your back, abdomen, and pelvis. This group of muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury, and help you gain greater balance and stability.
Foundation Training, created by Dr. Eric Goodman, is an integral first step of a larger program he calls "Modern Moveology," which consists of a catalog of exercises. Postural exercises such as those taught in Foundation Training are critical not just for properly supporting your frame during daily activities, they also retrain your body so you can safely perform high-intensity exercises without risking injury. Exercise programs like Pilates and yoga are also great for strengthening your core muscles, as are specific exercises you can learn from a personal trainer.
Stretching: My favorite type of stretching is active isolated stretches developed by Aaron Mattes. With Active Isolated Stretching, you hold each stretch for only two seconds, which works with your body's natural physiological makeup to improve circulation and increase the elasticity of muscle joints. This technique also allows your body to repair itself and prepare for daily activity. You can also use devices like the Power Plate to help you stretch.
Stand Up Every 15 Minutes. I usually set a timer for 15 minutes while sitting, and then stand up and do one-legged squats, jump squats, or lunges when the timer goes off. The key is that you need to be moving all day long, even in non-exercise, or as I now like to call them, intermittent movement activities.
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New study says seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily may reduce risk of dying
by: Raw Michelle
Friday, May 02, 2014
(NaturalNews) A new study says that vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of dying. While people have always known about the health benefits of eating such foods, what's important here is that the amount of veggies and fruits is what may help people live longer. Specifically, the researchers involved in the University of London study said that people who eat seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables every day might be able to slash their risk of dying by up to 42 percent
The eating habits of over 65,000 people were tracked for 12 years and compared to people who ate less than one portion of fruits and vegetables daily; those eating seven portions were shown to have a 25 percent lower risk of death from cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease
The findings, which were reported in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, state, "A robust inverse association exists between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality, with benefits seen in up to 7+ portions daily."
Seven portions of fruits and vegetables: is it too much?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 30-year-old male who gets about 30-60 minutes of exercise daily requires 2 cups of fruit and 3.5 cups of vegetables daily, less than the findings of this new study. However, it's important to note that requirements vary based on age, gender, exercise level and dietary requirements/preferences.
Some people take issue with consuming excessive amounts of
fruits and vegetables, indicating that it may lead to weight gain. Many individuals tend to gravitate more toward fruits than vegetables, which could be problematic. Fitness expert Dr. Melina Jampolis says that "fruit has almost three times the calories per serving as nonstarchy vegetables." So it's necessary to pay attention to the balance of these portions
However, for many mono-fruiters like Freelee, "the banana girl" who is known for her "30 bananas a day" approach, this news is likely music to their ears. Several people have enjoyed the benefits of eating large quantities of fruits in particular, including people who say they have cleared their acne by consuming a great deal of apples regularly
Sources for this article include
http://www.cdc.gov
http://www.thestar.com
http://jech.bmj.com
http://rawandnaturalhealth.com
http://science.naturalnews.com
About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.
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Pharmacist Suzy Cohen reveals secrets for preventing diabetes
J. D. Heyes
Friday, May 02, 2014



(NaturalNews) Suzy Cohen, who is best known as "America's Most Trusted Pharmacist," is scheduled to speak at the Reversing Diabetes World Summit, a free online health conference that begins May 5.
Click here to see a complete guest list and speaking schedule.
According to her website, Cohen says she uses her 22 years' of experience "to share the pros and cons of medication use as well as offer natural substitutions for most any of your health concerns."
"While I pride myself in 'thinking outside the pill' let me just say that I am still very proud to wear my white coat because I realize that there is a time and place for medications. We need to consider all of our options, and often, a combination is best," she said.
In addition to being a syndicated columnist and speaker, she is also the author of the books The 24-Hour Pharmacist, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a new, exclusive version of her original self-published title, Drug Muggers.
As for the summit itself, it will bring together many of the world's leading doctors, scientists and experts, who will share their intimate secrets for losing weight, getting fit, eating right and overcoming stress to beat the diabetes epidemic once and for all.
"Whether you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, were told that you have pre-diabetes, have a family history, or just want to make sure you don't get
diabetes, this 12 day, power-packed summit will give you the ammunition you need to fight off the diabetes monster and win," says the summit website.
Once you register, you'll receive an "insider's pass" to watch 50 presentations of the world's leading doctors, nutritionists, diabetes coaches, authors, fitness gurus and experts sharing their best
secrets and insights over 12 exciting, information-packed days. They promise to teach you how to stop just managing your condition with endless drugs, needles and finger pricking, and start to address the root cause of diabetes and high blood sugar.
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7 Tricks to Improve Your Memory
By Dr. Mercola
April 24, 2014

It was once believed that brain function peaked during early adulthood and then slowly declined, leading to lapses in memory and brain fog during your golden years.

Now it's known that our modern lifestyle plays a significant role in contributing to cognitive decline, which is why exposure to toxins, chemicals, poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, and much more can actually hinder the functioning of your brain.

The flipside is also true in that a healthy lifestyle can support your brain health and even encourage your brain to grow new neurons, a process known as neurogenesis.

Your brain's hippocampus, i.e. the memory center, is especially able to grow new cells and it's now known that your hippocampus regenerates throughout your entire lifetime (even into your 90s), provided you give it the tools to do so.

These "tools" are primarily lifestyle-based, which is wonderful news. You don't need an expensive prescription medication or any medical procedure at all to boost your brain, and your memory. You simply must try out the following tricks to improve your memory.
7 Lifestyle-Based Ways to Improve Your Memory
1. Eat Right
The foods you eat – and don't eat – play a crucial role in your memory. Fresh vegetables are essential, as are healthy fats and avoiding sugar and grain carbohydrates. You can find detailed information about nine foods for brainpower here.
For instance, curry, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and walnuts contain antioxidants and other compounds that protect your brain health and may even stimulate the production of new brain cells.
Increasing your animal-based omega-3 fat intake and reducing consumption of damaged omega-6 fats (think processed vegetable oils) in order to balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, is also important. I prefer krill oil to fish oil, as krill oil also contains astaxanthin, which not only protects the omega-3 fats from oxidation but also appears to be particularly beneficial for brain health.
Coconut oil is another healthful fat for brain function. According to research by Dr. Mary Newport, just over two tablespoons of coconut oil (about 35 ml or 7 level teaspoons) would supply you with the equivalent of 20 grams of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which is indicated as either a preventative measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for an already established case.
2. Exercise
Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by stimulating nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage.
During exercise nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. One in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health, and directly benefits cognitive functions, including learning.
A 2010 study on primates published in Neuroscience also revealed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to the brain, but also helped the monkeys learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys.
This is a benefit the researchers believe would hold true for people as well. In a separate one year-long study, individuals who engaged in exercise were actually growing and expanding the brain's memory center one to two percent per year, where typically that center would have continued to decline in size.
To get the most out of your workouts, I recommend a comprehensive program that includes high-intensity interval exercise, strength training, stretching, and core work, along with regular intermittent movement.
3. Stop Multitasking
Used for decades to describe the parallel processing abilities of computers, multitasking is now shorthand for the human attempt to do simultaneously as many things as possible, as quickly as possible. Ultimately, multitasking may actually slow you down, make you prone to errors as well as make you forgetful.
Research shows you actually need about eight seconds to commit a piece of information to your memory, so if you're talking on your phone and carrying in groceries when you put down your car keys, you're unlikely to remember where you left them.
The opposite of multitasking would be mindfulness, which helps you achieve undistracted focus. Students who took a mindfulness class improved reading comprehension test scores and working memory capacity, as well as experienced fewer distracting thoughts.
If you find yourself trying to complete five tasks at once, stop yourself and focus your attention back to the task at hand. If distracting thoughts enter your head, remind yourself that these are only "projections," not reality, and allow them to pass by without stressing you out. You can then end your day with a 10- or 15-minute meditation session to help stop your mind from wandering and relax into a restful sleep.
4. Get a Good Night's Sleep
Research from Harvard indicates that people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas after sleeping, but few realize that their performance has actually improved. Sleep is also known to enhance your memories and help you "practice" and improve your performance of challenging skills. In fact, a single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
The process of brain growth, or neuroplasticity, is believed to underlie your brain's capacity to control behavior, including learning and memory. Plasticity occurs when neurons are stimulated by events, or information, from the environment. However, sleep and sleep loss modify the expression of several genes and gene products that may be important for synaptic plasticity.
Furthermore, certain forms of long-term potentiation, a neural process associated with the laying down of learning and memory, can be elicited in sleep, suggesting synaptic connections are strengthened while you slumber.
As you might suspect, this holds true for infants too, and research shows that naps can give a boost to babies' brainpower. Specifically, infants who slept in between learning and testing sessions had a better ability to recognize patterns in new information, which signals an important change in memory that plays an essential role in cognitive development. There's reason to believe this holds true for adults, too, as even among adults, a mid-day nap was found to dramatically boost and restore brainpower. You can find 33 tips to help you get the shut-eye you need here.
5. Play Brain Games
If you don't sufficiently challenge your brain with new, surprising information, it eventually begins to deteriorate. What research into brain plasticity shows us, however, is that by providing your brain with appropriate stimulus, you can counteract this degeneration.
One way to challenge your brain is via 'brain games,' which you can play online via Web sites like Lumosity.com. Dr. Michael Merzenich, professor emeritus at the University of California, who I interviewed two years ago, has pioneered research in brain plasticity (also called neuroplasticity) for more than 30 years, has also developed a computer-based brain-training program that can help you sharpen a range of skills, from reading and comprehension to improved memorization and more.
The program is called Brain HQ, and the website has many different exercises designed to improve brain function and it also allows you to track and monitor your progress over time. While there are many similar sites on the Web, Brain HQ is one of the oldest and most widely used.
If you decide to try brain games, ideally it would be wise to invest at least 20 minutes a day, but no more than five to seven minutes is to be spent on a specific task. When you spend longer amounts of time on a task, the benefits weaken. According to Dr. Merzenich, the primary benefits occur in the first five or six minutes of the task. The only downside to brain games is that it may become just another "task" you need to fit into an already busy day. If you don't enjoy brain games, you can also try learning a new skill or hobby (see below).
6. Master a New Skill
Engaging in "purposeful and meaningful activities" stimulates your neurological system, counters the effects of stress-related diseases, reduces the risk of dementia and enhances health and well-being. A key factor necessary for improving your brain function or reversing functional decline is the seriousness of purpose with which you engage in a task. In other words, the task must be important to you, or somehow meaningful or interesting — it must hold your attention.
For instance, one study revealed that craft activities such as quilting and knitting were associated with decreased odds of having mild cognitive impairment. Another study, published earlier this year, found that taking part in "cognitively demanding" activities like learning to quilt or take digital photography enhanced memory function in older adults. The key is to find an activity that is mentally stimulating for you. Ideally this should be something that requires your undivided attention and gives you great satisfaction… it should be an activity that you look forward to doing, such as playing a musical instrument, gardening, building model ships, crafting or many others.
7. Try Mnemonic Devices
Mnemonic devices are memory tools to help you remember words, information or concepts. They help you to organize information into an easier-to-remember format. Try:
  1. Acronyms (such as PUG for "pick up grapes")
  2. Visualizations (such as imagining a tooth to remember your dentist's appointment)
  3. Rhymes (if you need to remember a name, for instance, think "Shirley's hair is curly)
  4. Chunking, which is breaking up information into smaller "chunks" (such as organizing numbers into the format of a phone number)
3 More Smart Tips for Brainpower
If you're serious about improving your memory and your cognitive function, you'll also want to know about these three important variables for brain health.
Vitamin D
Activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain, and researchers have also located metabolic pathways for vitamin D in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain, areas that are involved in planning, processing of information, and the formation of new memories. In older adults, research has shown that low vitamin D levels are associated with poorer brain function, and increasing levels may help keep older adults mentally fit. Appropriate sun exposure is all it takes to keep your levels where they need to be for healthy brain function. If this is not an option, a safe tanning bed is the next best alternative, followed by a vitamin D3 supplement.
Intermittent Fasting
Contrary to popular belief, the ideal fuel for your brain is not glucose but ketones, which is the fat that your body mobilizes when you stop feeding it carbs and introduce coconut oil and other sources of healthy fats into your diet. A one-day fast can help your body to "reset" itself, and start to burn fat instead of sugar. Further, it will help you to reduce your overall calorie consumption, which promotes brain cell growth and connectivity.
As part of a healthy lifestyle, however, I prefer an intermittent fasting schedule that simply calls for limiting your eating to a narrower window of time each day. By restricting your eating to a 6-8 hour window, you effectively fast 16-18 hours each day. To learn more, please see this previous intermittent fasting article.
Gut Health
Your gut is your "second brain," and your gut bacteria transmits information to your brain via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem into your enteric nervous system (the nervous system of your gastrointestinal tract). There is a close connection between abnormal gut flora and abnormal brain development, and just as you have neurons in your brain, you also have neurons in your gut -- including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is also found in your brain and is linked to mood.
Quite simply, your gut health can impact your brain function, psyche, and behavior, as they are interconnected and interdependent in a number of different ways. In addition to avoiding sugar, one of the best ways to support gut health is to consume beneficial bacteria. You can use a probiotic supplement for this, but I'm particularly fond of using fermented vegetables, because they can deliver extraordinarily high levels of beneficial bacteria. Most people aren't aware that in a healthy serving of sauerkraut – two to three ounces or so – you're getting the equivalent of nearly 100 capsules of the highest-potency probiotic you can buy. It's clearly one of the most cost-effective alternatives.
The Choline-Brain Connection
Choline is an essential nutrient your body makes in small amounts. However, you must consume it through your diet to get enough. In adults, choline helps keep your cell membranes functioning properly, plays a role in nerve communications, prevents the buildup of homocysteine in your blood (elevated levels are linked to heart disease) and reduces chronic inflammation. In pregnant women, choline plays an equally, if not more, important role, helping to prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida, and playing a role in brain development.
Prior research has concluded that choline intake during pregnancy "super-charged" the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating that it may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory, and even diminish age-related memory decline and the brain's vulnerability to toxins during childhood, as well as conferring protection later in life.
If you're pregnant, making sure your diet includes plenty of choline-rich foods is important, as research shows higher choline intake led to changes in epigenetic markers in the fetus. Specifically, it affected markers that regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which controls hormone production and activity. The changes in fetal genetic expression will likely continue into adulthood, where they play a role in disease prevention. Eggs and meat are two of the best dietary sources of choline; if you're a vegan or vegetarian who does not consume any animal foods, you may be at risk of deficiency and may want to consider supplementation.
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Copper water pipes increase growth of some cancers

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by: D Holt
(NaturalNews) A study carried out by Duke University in North Carolina has found that high levels of copper are linked to an increase in melanoma and breast, lung and thyroid cancer. While the research stopped short of claiming that excess copper causes cancer, the scientists involved stated that copper causes the cancer to "breathe," which increases the rate of growth.
High copper levels in the body are often associated with diets excessively high in green vegetables and seafood, and with Wilson disease, a hereditary disease that causes copper to build up in bodily tissue.
Experiments in mice revealed that drinking water containing the maximum permitted level of copper provided enough copper to encourage the growth of tumors caused by mutation of the cancer-causing gene BRAF. The BRAF gene is involved in regulating cell division, and if it mutates it causes excessive cell proliferation and survival; it may also lead to cells resistant to apoptosis, where cells fail to die off as they are programmed to.
Professor Christopher Counter stated "BRAF-positive cancers like melanoma almost hunger for copper." Professor Counter and his colleagues found that by blocking the uptake of copper they could stop the development of tumors which contained the BRAF mutation. This was found to still be the case for tumors that had not responded to treatment with drugs which targeted the BRAF mutation.
A clinical trail has been approved to test copper-reducing drugs in the treatment of melanoma. Lead research scientist Dr. Donita Brady said, "Oral drugs used to lower
copper levels in Wilson disease could be repurposed to treat BRAF-driven cancers like melanoma - or perhaps even others like thyroid or lung cancer."
Catalyst for cancer
Whilst various cancers are known to be caused by diet and environmental factors, the findings of this study are very important. It proves that the growth of some types of cancers is dependent on the presence of a metal used in the
transportation of drinking water to much of the civilized world. Copper has not been proven to cause cancer by itself, but it is an important factor in the rate of growth of BRAF-positive cancers.
There is a continued threat of gene mutations from fallout from nuclear power accidents such as at Fukishima, carcinogenic food additives, industrial waste and chemical pollutants in water supplies. The fact that there is also a catalyst in our drinking water that increases the rate of cancer growth makes for further unpleasant reading. Drinking
tap water is a risk in many areas not only from copper leaching into supplies but also from the copious amounts of fluoride additives; both metals are associated with brain disease.
Whilst the development and use of drugs to reduce copper in the body is useful, it is treating a symptom rather than the cause. Many years ago, lead pipes were removed from use due to the findings of research proving the toxicity of lead. Is it now time for the removal of copper pipes?
Further information and reading:
http://www.holistichelp.net
About the author:
D Holt has written over 200 articles in the field of alternative health and is currently involved in research in the UK into the mechanisms involved in healing due to meditation, hypnosis and spiritual healers and techniques. Previous work has included investigations into effects of meditation on addiction, the effects of sulfites on the digestive system and the use of tartrazine and other additives in the restaurant industry. new blog is now available at
http://tinyurl.com/sacredmeditation or follow on twitter @sacredmeditate
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The Importance of Vitamin D for Normalizing Your Cholesterol Levels
By Dr. Mercola
April 14, 2014
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Vitamin D May Reduce Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease 
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The video above is a nice confirmation from the traditional media of the importance of vitamin D. However, they still get it wrong by stating that you can get the vitamin D you need from foods. Appropriate sun exposure can easily provide over 20,000 units per day, while food rarely provides over 400 units.
Back in 2011, I published a series of interviews with Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior MIT research scientist who, more recently, rocked the world with her discovery of glyphosate's mechanism of harm.
Three years ago, however, she was one of the first to point out the links between cholesterol and vitamin D, presenting a hypothesis that made me even more convinced that raising your vitamin D levels through sun exposure may be far more critical than previously thought.
Now, research published in the journal Menopause appears to offer support for Dr. Seneff's theories on the cholesterol-vitamin D link. But first, a quick review of cholesterol, and why your body actually needs it.
What Is Cholesterol, and Why Do You Need It?
That's right, you do need cholesterol. This soft, waxy substance is found not only in your bloodstream but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that help you digest fat.
Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function. Your liver makes about three-quarters or more of your body's cholesterol, and according to conventional medicine, there are two types:
High-density lipoprotein or HDL: This is the "good" cholesterol that helps keep cholesterol away from your arteries and remove any excess from arterial plaque, which may help to prevent heart disease.
Low-density lipoprotein or LDL: This "bad" cholesterol circulates in your blood and, according to conventional thinking, may build up in your arteries, forming plaque that makes your arteries narrow and less flexible (a condition called atherosclerosis). If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries leading to your heart or brain, a heart attack or stroke may result.
Also making up your total cholesterol count are:
Triglycerides: Elevated levels of this dangerous fat have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Triglyceride levels are known to rise from eating too many grains and sugars, being physically inactive, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol excessively, and being overweight or obese.
Lipoprotein (a) or Lp(a): Lp(a) is a substance that is made up of an LDL "bad cholesterol" part plus a protein (apoprotein a). Elevated Lp(a) levels are a very strong risk factor for heart disease. This has been well established, yet very few physicians check for it in their patients. (Lp(a) also was not assessed in the featured study.)
Study Finds Vitamin D + Calcium Supplementation Improves Lipid Profiles
The featured study sought to evaluate whether increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3) concentrations are associated with improved lipid profiles in postmenopausal women.
The study had over one million people so it was a big deal. The test group received a daily dose of 1,000 mg of elemental calcium along with 400 IUs of vitamin D3. Please note that this dose of vitamin D is ridiculously low and will not provide help for most people. The control group received a placebo.
Blood levels of vitamin D, fasting plasma triglycerides, HDL, and LDL cholesterol levels were assessed at the beginning and end of the trial. After two years, women who received the vitamin D and calcium supplements had a 38 percent increased mean vitamin D level compared to the placebo group.
They also had a 4.46-mg/dL mean decrease in LDL. Furthermore, higher vitamin D concentrations were associated with higher HDL combined with lower LDL and triglyceride levels. According to the authors:
"These results support the hypothesis that higher concentrations of 25OHD3, in response to [calcium/vitamin D3] supplementation, are associated with improved LDL cholesterol."
After discussing the link between vitamin D and cholesterol with Dr. Seneff, I became convinced that raising your vitamin D levels through sun exposure may have far greater benefits than taking a supplement. I've even warned that vitamin D supplementation might not achieve optimal health results, the reason for which I'll discuss in just a moment.
Remember that this study used a virtually insignificant dose of vitamin D that will not increase levels to optimum in anyone. Yet despite this nearly homeopathic dose, it still led to small, yet noticeable, improvements in lipid profile (i.e. increased HDL, in combination with reduced LDL and triglycerides).
Imagine what they would have found had they given doses 10 to 20 times higher that we know will put people into optimum ranges? In my view, this strengthens the hypothesis that naturally-acquired vitamin D, created by your skin in response to UV exposure, would likely have an even greater effect, and here's why.
Cardiovascular Disease—A Compensatory Mechanism for Cholesterol Sulfate Deficiency? 
Through her research, Dr. Seneff has developed a theory in which the mechanism we call "cardiovascular disease" (of which arterial plaque is a hallmark) is actually your body's way to compensate for not having enough cholesterol sulfate. To understand how this works, you have to understand the interrelated workings of cholesterol, sulfur, and vitamin D from sun exposure.
Cholesterol sulfate is produced in large amounts in your skin when it is exposed to sunshine. When you are deficient in cholesterol sulfate from lack of sun exposure, your body employs another mechanism to increase it, as it is essential for optimal heart and brain function. It does this by taking damaged LDL and turning it into plaque.
Within the plaque, your blood platelets separate out the beneficial HDL cholesterol, and through a process involving homocysteine as a source of sulfate, the platelets go on to produce the cholesterol sulfate your heart and brain needs. However, this plaque also causes the unfortunate side effect of increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. So how do you get out of this detrimental cycle?
Dr. Seneff believes that high serum cholesterol and low serum cholesterol sulfate go hand-in-hand, and that the ideal way to bring down your LDL (so-called "bad" cholesterol, which is associated with cardiovascular disease) is to get appropriate amounts of sunlight exposure on your skin. She explains:
"In this way, your skin will produce cholesterol sulfate, which will then flow freely through the blood—not packaged up inside LDL—and therefore your liver doesn't have to make so much LDL. So the LDL goes down. In fact... there is a complete inverse relationship between sunlight and cardiovascular disease – the more sunlight, the less cardiovascular disease."
What this also means is that when you artificially lower your cholesterol with a statin drug, which effectively reduces the bioavailability of cholesterol to that plaque but doesn't address the root problem, your body is not able to create the cholesterol sulfate your heart needs anymore, and as a result you end up with acute heart failure.
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 Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Stephanie Seneff (Part 1 of 7)  
Total Video Length: 1:29:57
Download Interview Transcript
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Heart Disease Is the Number One Killer Worldwide 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease was the leading cause of death, globally, in 2011 and 2012. Even children are becoming increasingly at risk. Recent research suggests as many as one-third of children have or are at risk for high cholesterol, which conventional medicine views as a risk factor for heart disease.
Bear in mind that, contrary to the conventional ideology, your total cholesterol level—which includes HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and Lp(a)—is just about worthless in determining your risk for heart disease, unless it is above 300. Still, high total cholesterol can in some instances indicate a problem, provided it's your LDL and triglycerides that are elevated and you have a low HDL. I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels over 250 who actually were at low heart disease risk due to their high HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen even more who had cholesterol levels under 200 that were at a very high risk of heart disease based on the following additional tests:
HDL/Cholesterol ratio. This is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol. That ratio should ideally be above 24 percent
Triglyceride/HDL ratio. Here, you divide your triglyceride level by your HDL. This ratio should ideally be below 2
That said, these are still simply guidelines, and there's a lot more that goes into your risk of heart disease than any one of these numbers. In fact, it was only after word got out that total cholesterol is a poor predictor of heart disease that HDL and LDL cholesterol were brought into the picture. They give you a closer idea of what's going on, but they still do not show you everything. Additional risk factors for heart disease include:
Your fasting insulin level: Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar. The insulin released from eating too many carbs promotes fat accumulation and makes it more difficult for your body to shed excess weight. Excess fat, particularly around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease
Your fasting blood sugar level: Studies have shown that people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dl had a nearly 300 percent increase higher risk of having coronary heart disease than people with a level below 79 mg/dl
Your iron level: Iron can be a very potent cause of oxidative stress, so if you have excess iron levels you can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should monitor your ferritin levels and make sure they are not much above 80 ng/ml. The simplest way to lower them if they are elevated is to donate your blood. If that is not possible, you can have a therapeutic phlebotomy and that will effectively eliminate the excess iron from your body
Beware of Treating Elevated Cholesterol in Childhood with Drugs  
Getting back to the study in question, a research team at Texas Children's Hospital examined the medical records of more than 12,000 children between the ages of nine and 11, and found that 30 percent of them were at risk of elevated cholesterol levels. Elevated LDL and triglyceride levels were found to be more common among boys. Not surprisingly, obesity and lifestyle were deemed to be significant factors.
Universal cholesterol screening guidelines were issued in 2011, which strongly recommend all children be screened between the ages of nine and 11, and again between 17 and 21. The authors of the featured study say they hope their findings will give added weight to these guidelines. However, there are serious concerns that universal screening will simply place children on cholesterol-lowering medications, which do absolutely nothing to address the underlying problem... As reported by Eurekalert:
"'There is concern by some in the medical community that children will be started on medication unnecessarily,' [lead investigator, Dr. Thomas] Seery said, emphasizing that adopting a healthy diet and engaging in routine physical activity are first-line therapies for children with abnormal cholesterol levels.He adds that cholesterol-lowering medications are typically needed in one to two percent of children with dyslipidemia, primarily in those with very high cholesterol resulting from a genetic lipoprotein disorder. Genetic lipoprotein disorders, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, result in very high cholesterol levels that can be detected in childhood but are felt to be underdiagnosed, he said. 'Kids need to have their cholesterol panel checked at some point during this timeframe [9 to 11 years old],' Seery said. 'In doing so, it presents the perfect opportunity for clinicians and parents to discuss the importance of healthy lifestyle choices on cardiovascular health.'"   To Save Our Kids, We Must Address Their Lifestyle 
It is indisputable that childhood obesity is placing an increasing number of people at risk of an early death. I address this topic in my book Generation XL. If the childhood obesity epidemic is not reversed, we will, for the first time in history, see children living shorter lives than their parents! Clearly, something must be done about escalating childhood obesity and "adult" diseases showing up in our children. But placing kids on statinsHYPERLINK \l "_edn8"8 is certainly NOT the answer. The cause of the problem is unhealthy lifestyle choices—and drugs do nothing to address this. On the contrary, statins have been linked to a wide range of devastating side effects, including but not limited to:

Muscle problems and muscle damage (including the heart muscle) Neurological problems, including memory loss and Lou Gehrig's disease Nerve damage
Liver enzyme derangement Kidney failure Elevated blood glucose
Tendon problems Anemia Sexual dysfunction
Recent research, which followed subjects for 25 years, suggests there's a very important relationship between your heart health and your brain function, and that this relationship starts much earlier in life than previously thought. The study links late-teen to early adulthood blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels with mental acuity in your mid-life years:
People with higher blood pressure and/or higher blood glucose early in life scored lower on all tests devised to assess memory and learning, brain aging, and decision processing speed
People with higher cholesterol early in life scored lower on the learning and memory testsNow, when you consider the negative effects statins have on your heart muscle, combined with their detrimental neurological impact and their tendency to elevate blood glucose, it would seem like these drugs might actually significantly speed up the onset of dementia when given to young children, thereby doing more damage than simply living with health risk factors such as high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Vitamin D Also Plays a Role in Alzheimer's Prevention Your brain function, as your heart health, is also dependent on both appropriate amounts of cholesterol and healthy vitamin D levels — a fact that again ties heart and brain health together. A recent article in the Daily Herald, written by Dr. Patrick B. Massey, MD, Ph.D., medical director for complementary and alternative medicine at Alexian Brothers Hospital Network, discusses the importance of vitamin D for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
"'Not by coincidence, vitamin D deficiency exists in 70-90 percent of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease,' he writes. 'Medical studies have demonstrated that increased vitamin D levels either through sun exposure or supplementation improves cognitive function in the elderly. These positive results have been seen in those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease as well as those who do not have this illness.
The benefits of vitamin D supplementation may appear in four weeks resulting in enhanced processing speed as well as cognitive abilities. Indeed, one recent medical trial demonstrated that taking vitamin D and the Alzheimer's medication memantine resulted in better outcomes than either memantine or vitamin D alone. Vitamin D supplementation is a simple and effective way of treating and preventing Alzheimer's disease and may be the best option at this time.'"
As you can see, vitamin D and cholesterol are integral players in both heart disease and Alzheimer's disease, and that while statins can dramatically reduce your cholesterol, these drugs tend to have a detrimental effect on both your heart and brain. According to Dr. Seneff, insufficient fat and cholesterol in your brain play a critical role in the disease process, and she makes a compelling case for how statin drugs promote the disease. For more in-depth information about this, please refer to Dr. Seneff's MIT paper, "APOE-4: The Clue to Why Low Fat Diet and Statins May Cause Alzheimer's."
Tying It All Together 
All in all, Dr. Seneff's research makes a very compelling case for getting appropriate sun exposure in order to normalize your cholesterol levels, thereby promoting both heart and brain health. While you can take oral vitamin D pills, there is virtually no doubt in my mind that future research (likely 20-30 years from now) will show that increasing your vitamin D levels through sensible sun exposure or a safe tanning bed is far superior to swallowing vitamin D. To summarize Dr. Seneff's research into layman's terms the two inter-related disease processes described earlier would look something like this:
Lack of sun exposure → cholesterol sulfate deficiency → plaque formation (to produce cholesterol sulfate that protects your heart) → cardiovascular disease (which places you at greater risk for decreased brain function)
Furthermore, Dr. Seneff and many others also stress the importance of reducing your refined sugar and processed fructose consumption to prevent heart disease. While not specifically addressed in this article, as I chose to focus on cholesterol and vitamin D, fructose consumption also significantly contributes to cardiovascular disease in the following manner:
High fructose consumption → over-taxed liver → impaired cholesterol formation → cholesterol deficiency → plaque formation to compensate for cholesterol sulfate deficiency → cardiovascular disease
The reversal of these disease processes would then look like this:
Appropriate sun exposure + low-sugar diet = optimal cholesterol production in your liver + optimal cholesterol sulfate production in your skin → healthy cholesterol levels and absence of arterial plaque
Naturally, while sun exposure and a low-sugar diet are important, if not critical, for optimizing your heart health, there are many other lifestyle factors that can make or break your cardiovascular health. For more suggestions on how to optimize your cholesterol levels without drugs, please see my previous article, "Statin Nation: The Great Cholesterol Cover-Up."
How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health
Additionally, a robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.
Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. It is showing how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.
In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This was an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.
To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)
As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you "it's time for your next test and health survey."
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Eating More Fruits and Vegetables Can Cut Your Risk of Dying in Half
By Dr. Mercola
Despite the fact that vegetables have been proven to help lower your risk of chronic disease and support longevity, most Americans are not eating nearly enough of these natural, relatively inexpensive superfoods.
The latest data shows that nearly 23 percent of Americans report consuming vegetables and fruits less than one time daily, with a median vegetable intake of just 1.6 times per day overall.
Adding in more vegetables to your diet is a simple and powerful step to dramatically improve your health. Vegetables are quick to prepare and come in so many different varieties that they should suit virtually everyone’s tastes. If you want even more motivation to eat more veggies, check out these newly unveiled health benefits (which are so dramatic the researchers called them "staggering.")
Eating Veggies Lowers Your Risk of Dying Prematurely by 42 Percent
People who eat seven or more portions of vegetables and fruit a day have a 42 percent lower risk of dying from any cause, compared to those who eat less than one portion. They also enjoy a 31 percent lower risk of heart disease and a 25 percent lower risk of cancer.The research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, is among the first to quantify the health benefits of eating different amounts of fresh produce. As you might suspect, eating any amount of vegetables was better than none at all, but the benefits increased with more servings:
Those who ate five to seven servings of vegetables and fruits per day had a 36 percent lower risk of dying from any cause
Three to five servings was associated with a 29 percent lower risk
One to three servings was associated with a 14 percent lower risk
So what counts as a vegetable serving? According to the US government, one cup of raw or cooked vegetables or fresh vegetable juice, or two cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as one cup from the Vegetable Group.
Also, the study importantly highlighted what I have been saying for some time, which is that vegetables had a larger protective effect than fruits. So while consuming small amounts of whole fruit is fine (and even beneficial) if you’re healthy, your focus should be on vegetables.
When broken down by vegetables only, each additional daily portion of fresh veggies lowered participants’ risk of death by 16 percent compared to four percent for fresh fruit.

Optimal Health Depends on Eating Large Amounts of Fresh Vegetables 
I firmly believe we all need to eat large amounts of fresh, high-quality vegetables every day to achieve high-level health. Most vegetables are not very calorie dense and as a result they probably should constitute the bulk of your diet by volume. Even though my diet is 70 percent fat by calories, if you were to spread out all the food I eat in a day, the largest volume of food would be vegetables.
Vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds that are very difficult to get anywhere else. Plant chemicals called phytochemicals can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens, while others regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, get rid of old cells, and maintain DNA. Studies have repeatedly shown that people with higher vegetable intake have:

Lower risks of stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease Lower risks of certain types of cancer, eye diseases, and digestive problems Reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss
Higher scores on cognitive tests Higher antioxidant levels Lower biomarkers for oxidative stress
The Impressive Power of Vegetables
Vegetables have an impressive way of offering widespread benefits to your health. When you eat them, you're getting dozens, maybe even hundreds or thousands, of super-nutrients that support optimal, body-wide health.
We've compiled an extensive review of the health benefits of vegetables in our Mercola Food Facts Library. If you want to know more, that’s an excellent place to start. Following is a sampling of recent research showing the profound health benefits you can gain just by eating more vegetables:
Sulforaphane in broccoli has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby striking to the root of tumor growth, and the broccoli compound glucoraphanin -- a precursor to sulforaphane – boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.
A gene that is essential for producing critical immune cells in your gut, responds to the food you eat—specifically leafy green vegetables.
Cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It's also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.
Vegetables Are One of the Best Forms of Dietary Fiber
Unless you regularly eat whole fruits and vegetables (along with nuts and seeds), you may be missing out on the healthiest forms of fiber available – and that could be a problem. It is actually because your body can’t digest fiber that it plays such an important part in digestion. Soluble fiber, like that found in cucumbers and blueberries, dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion.
This helps you to feel full longer and is one reason why fiber may help with weight control. Insoluble fiber, found in foods like dark green leafy vegetables, green beans, celery, and carrots, does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool.
This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination. Many whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, naturally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
One of the signs that a food is a natural source of fiber is that you must chew it a good number of times before swallowing. Processed foods, which basically melt in your mouth, are not going to give you the fiber your body needs.
Vegetables, on the other hand, will, and this is yet another one of their virtues. My main meal of the day is at 3 PM and is a half-gallon bowl of salad that takes me at least a half hour to chew. There’s no shortage of research showing how a high-fiber diet may boost your health. Some of its top potential benefits include:
Blood sugar control: Soluble fiber may help to slow your body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar, helping with blood sugar control. Heart health: An inverse association has been found between fiber intake and heart attack, and research shows that those eating a high-fiber diet have a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease.
Stroke: Researchers have found that for every seven-grams more fiber you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by seven percent.
Weight loss and management: Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance weight loss among obese people, likely because fiber increases feelings of fullness.
Skin health: Fiber, particularly psyllium husk, may help move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
Diverticulitis: Dietary fiber (especially insoluble) may reduce your risk of diverticulitis – an inflammation of polyps in your intestine – by 40 percent.
Hemorrhoids: A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of hemorrhoids.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Fiber may provide some relief from IBS.
Gallstones and kidney stones: A high-fiber diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
Fermented Vegetables Are Phenomenal for Your Gut Health
Your gut is much more than a food processing tube — it houses about 85 percent of your immune system. This is in large part due to the 100 trillion bacteria that live there, both good and potentially harmful, that can stimulate your immune response. When your GI tract is not working well, a wide range of health problems can appear, including allergies and autoimmune diseases. If you suffer from any major illness, you simply will NOT be able to fully recuperate without healing and sealing your gut.
Balancing the menagerie of microorganisms that occupy your GI tract is a key part of maintaining your immune health, and one of the best ways to do this is by consuming fermented vegetables. Fermented vegetables are potent chelators (detoxifiers) and contain much higher levels of probiotics than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora.
Beneficial gut bacteria play important roles in vitamin production, mineral absorption, and helping prevent diabetes, digestive issues, neurological problems, cardiovascular disease, and even acne. For a very small investment (five or six medium-sized cabbages and other veggies to taste, celery juice for brine and, if you like, starter culture), you can easily make up to 14 quart jars of fermented vegetables, which I believe are the ultimate superfood. You can use these six steps to make fermented vegetables at home.
Creative Ways to Get More Veggie Superpowers Into Your Diet 
Keeping veggies on hand is the first step to eating more of them. Fresh, non-genetically-modified and organic is best, but even frozen will work in a pinch. Make it a point to include vegetables with every meal – a salad, a side dish, or a pre-meal snack – or make veggies the main focus of your meals. You’ll easily work your way up to seven or more servings a day.
When preparing your veggies, use quick, gentle cooking methods (only cooking to a tender-crisp, not mushy texture) to preserve the most nutrients. Also try to eat a good portion of them raw, which will allow you to receive beneficial biophotons. Two of the best ways to get more raw vegetables into your diet include:
Juicing: Juicing allows you to absorb all the nutrients from vegetables, allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner, and makes it easy to add a variety of vegetables to your diet. Sprouts: The sprouting process tends to increase nutrient content and bioavailability of nutrients. Sprouts also contain valuable enzymes that allow your body to absorb and use the nutrients of all other foods you eat. They’re very easy to grow at home. Now that it’s springtime in the US, consider growing some of your own veggies at home. You can plant an organic veggie garden even in small spaces, and this will provide you with a readily available source of the freshest, most health-boosting foods around.

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Also See:
If You Know What's Good For You ...
(Part 1)
19 February 2009
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(Part 2)
01 August 2009
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(Part 3)
02 March 2010
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(Part 4)
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(Part 6)
20 July 2011
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(Part 7)
09 October 2011
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(Part 10)
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(Part 11)
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26 March 2009
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Genetic Manipulated Foods Are Not Healthy!
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http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2009/05/genetic-manipulated-foods-are-not.html
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Losing Weight - Are Diets Detrimental to Health?
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http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2010/09/too-much-too-young-teen-body-obsession.html
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No More Fluoride in the Water - Waterloo, Ontario
08 November 2010
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2010/11/no-more-floride-in-water-waterloo.html
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No More Fluoride in the Water - Portland, Oregon
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http://arcticcompass.blogspot.ca/2013/06/major-victory-as-portland-oregon-votes.html
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Why is Fluoride in Our Water?
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http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/01/why-is-fluoride-in-our-water.html
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http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/02/medication-errors-are-major-killer.html
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Can't Sleep? There is Help!
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http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/02/cant-sleep-there-is-help.html
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Avoid Chemotherapy and Radiation!
19 November 2011
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/11/chemotherapy-and-radiation.html
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