USDA Soil Scientist Reveals Simple Tips for Improving Soil Health

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By Dr. Mercola

The health of the soil in which our food is grown is intimately connected to our health, not to mention the environment as a whole.

Ray Archuleta, aka “the Soil Guy,” is a soil scientist and conservation agronomist at the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) at the East National Technology Support Center (ENTSC) in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“I’ve been working for the government for about 30 years. It was during the last 10 years that I started discovering that we weren’t fixing our resource issues.

Our water quality wasn’t getting better, and the farmers were going broke. The worst thing about it is I couldn’t help them.

Even though I went to eight years of university studies, I realized that I didn’t understand how the soil and the ecosystem function. That led to the fact that I couldn’t help the producers save their farms,” he says.

Once Ray got a job at the East National Technology Service Center, he was finally exposed to the right people with the right paradigm and began learning how a farm connects to and is part of the natural ecosystem.

“I think the majority of our farmers think that the farms are separate from the woods or the prairie. But I started realizing that the soils still want to be treated like those prairies and like those woods.

Simply stated, soil health is the soil’s ability to function, to sustain animals, plants, humans, and our climate. The healthier the soil is, the more it functions properly.

If I would use one word to explain soil health, I would say biomimicry: mimicking nature, the biology and the ecology, to make it function.

Keeping the soil covered, having living root, bringing diversity, and integrating animals — those are principles we teach to make soil healthy and functioning.”

The Importance of Cover Crops

Gabe Brown was one of the first to introduce me to the concept of “soil armor,” basically providing the soil with a shield of protection in the form of mulch or wood chips, or by using a cocktail of cover crops.

Bare soil is a recipe for poor soil health, as it dries up the soil and prevents the soil microbes from thriving. So making sure the soil is covered is a foundational step, no matter what the size of your farm or garden.

“A plant doesn’t just cover the soil but it’s a biological primer. It’s an energy transformer. It feeds the soil microbiology. It’s so critical for people to understand that it’s not just a cover for protection, but it’s a biological primer and energy transformer.

So, the plants are absolutely critical for the soil ecosystem. The ironic thing is that a majority of our producers think that cover crops are optional. They look at them as just something to stop erosion.”

The thing is, unless you provide the soil with armor, nature will try to provide it — typically with intensified weed growth! That’s why I’m a big fan of mulch, which can cut weeds by nearly 90 percent. It can also cut water needs in half.

My favorite is wood chips as they provide plenty of carbon, are great food for earthworms, radically increase mycorrhizal fungi, and are very inexpensive if not free. But cover crops will do the same thing, and is easier to use on a farm.

“Carbon is the driving cycle,” Ray explains. “It drives the phosphorus – and nitrogen cycle. It is the driving force because it is the one that feeds the soil organisms.

And that photosynthetic material leaks into the soil rhizosphere, and it feeds the biology and it drives the soil biology.

So, to me, carbon is the most limiting nutrients in our soils todays because we till it so much, we don’t use covers, and we strip all the armor away. Most of our soils are carbon depleted, so carbon is the most critical.”

USDA Now Prioritizes Soil Health

Fortunately, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which is part of the USDA and the major agency that works with private land owners, farmers, and ranchers, has become very committed to understanding and teaching about soil health.

Not only will regenerating our soils lead to improved food production, it also addresses a majority of resource concerns, such as water.

When you add carbon back into the soil, either by adding mulch or cover crops, the carbon feeds mycorrhizal fungi that eventually produce glomalin, which may be even better than humic acid at retaining water, so that you limit your irrigation needs and make your garden or fields more resilient during droughts.

“Our chief, Jason Weller, requires that all of us, every NRCS employee, be taught soil health so it spread through the whole agency. So, it is a priority for NRCS to not only learn soil health and to teach our employees but also to facilitate it at the ground level to our farmers and ranchers. This movement is growing by leaps and bounds… I think modern agriculture is turning the corner,” Ray says.

Considering data suggesting we may lose all commercial top soil, globally, in the next 60 years if we keep going at the current rate, such changes cannot move fast enough.

The NRCS website is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about soil health, and farmers wanting to change their system. At present, about 10 percent of US farmers have started incorporating practices to address soil health. Only about two percent have transitioned to full-on regenerative land management, such as that taught by Gabe Brown.

So there’s still plenty of room for improvement. But it’s certainly a start, and the winds of change are picking up. One incentive for farmers, once they understand the system, is that it can save them quite a bit of money, improving the profitability of their farm.

“It helps wean them off costly chemical fertilizers, helps them reduce the fungicide cost, the insecticide cost. Going to no-till farming with cover crops, integrating animals, and in farming more like nature, they’re reducing a lot of their petroleum-based inputs. This is phenomenal. It also saves them work. And they can see how the farm soil is improving, and they get excited about that.

I’ve had farmers said, ‘You know what? Right now, I am excited about farming, and I haven’t been excited about farming in years.’ Some of them say, ‘Now, I have hope.’ That’s really encouraging. The number one thing I do is get people to look at the soil differently, as a living ecosystem. I think that’s the number one thing. If I cannot convince them to do that, they won’t do the rest of the practices.

Anyone Can Grow Food

The late Jerry Brunet introduced the idea of Victory Gardens during World War I and II, when it was advertised as a way for patriots to make a difference on the home-front. At that time, the majority of the produce grown in the US was grown right in people’s backyards, and I firmly believe we need to revert back to growing our own food.

We don’t have to rely on large-scale commercial agriculture and industrial agriculture. And you don’t need an entire farm to grow some of your own food. All you need to do is convert some of your decorative landscaping to edibles if you have a front – or backyard. Or you can grow food in containers if you live in an apartment. Community gardens are another option.

“I love the idea of victory gardens,” Ray says. “I think one of the most powerful ways to reconnect people back to the land. We’re connected very well with our cellphones but we’re incredibly disconnected from the natural resource, and I think the victory garden would be a great way to do that and spread that kind of understanding. And it’s simple.

I think that’s where we have to go because one of my biggest concerns, too, is our farms are too big. A lot of producers don’t want to hear that. I’m telling them they’re farming too many acres and it’s hard to do it right. I tell a lot of young farmers, ‘You’re better off doing it with the acreage you have. Learn how to do it right. Learn the management skills. Learn the logistics. You’re better off than buying and farming another hundred acres.'”

Tips for the Garden Enthusiast

YouTube is a fantastic resource where you can learn a lot, including how to optimize your garden and grow your own food. To start off, search YouTube using the keywords “no-till garden.” Tilling your soil is a major mistake, as it destroys valuable soil life and promotes weed growth. When you till, you break up the aggregates, waking up R-strategist bacteria that consume the glomalin, the organo-mineral complexes or organic matter that acts like a glue in the soil and help retain water. So tilling is profoundly counterproductive.

Instead, do what Ray suggests:

“Get some cardboard, lay it on top [of the soil], get your leaves, get a bunch of compost, smother the grass there, and start layering that like a lasagna. When you’re ready to plant your tomatoes, you just create a hole right through, pierce the cardboard into the soil beneath, and let it go. That’s all you have to. And then every season after you get your vegetables up, plant a cover crop. It’s that simple.”

Keep in mind you do not want to plant in the composting materials on the top of your cardboard, or directly into the pile of wood chips. You need to drop your plants through all of that material into the soil underneath. The mulch just helps protect your plants and nourish the soil. Another important point: do not mix the wood chips into your soil, as that ties up nitrogen. Simply place the wood chips on top of the soil and leave them; do not bury them.

There are also a number of excellent books available these days. Ray recommends Carrots Love Tomatoes: Companion Planting for a Healthy Garden, which teaches you how to do intercropping of vegetables. Certain vegetables grow better when joined by other plants. The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) website also has a number of books, including one of cover crops that, along with many others, can be read online for free if you don’t want to purchase a paper copy.

Two Ways to Use Cover Crops

There are two ways to use cover crops. One way is to simply plant the cover crop once you’ve grown and harvested your regular crop. This way the soil is not left bare, and the cover crop basically becomes mulch for the next growing season. The second way is to mix the cover crop in with the regular crops during the growing season — a system called intercropping. Here, you have to make sure the crops go well together.

For example, if you’re growing sweet corn, you could use clover, as it does not compete too much with the corn while building the mycorrhizal network. So intercropping requires you to learn which crops support and benefit each other.

“Some producers will grow cowpeas or soybeans next to their corn. Again, it’s a legume and the legumes, at the bottom, have these nodules that these rhizobia bacteria nodulate and get nitrogen from the air and they transform it to a soluble form that the plants can utilize,” Ray explains. “The legume will build this underground network, and they feed each other, share resources: nutrients, phosphorus, and water. It’s just beautiful.”

Going Beyond Organic…

From my perspective, one of the best ways to optimize your health is to grow your own food. Not to mention the fact that gardening can help boost your mental well-being, and may help promote a healthier microbiome to boot, if you allow yourself to get a bit dirty.

Once you get started, I think you’ll find that little compares to the joy of interacting with nature, watching your garden grow and flourish, knowing that you’re going to get nutrient-dense foods that are not only nourishing you and your family but also helpful for the environment.

“I see so much parallelism between the medical institutions and agricultural institutions,” Ray says. “There’s really no buy-in from the people themselves. In other words, I think we’re not going to change dramatically until people start educating themselves and have skin in the game, which leads to soul of the game

I never thought that one person could make a difference, but they can. I have a lot of organic producers I work with, and I love them dearly. I think we need to take it beyond organic as ecological farming because some of the organic farms – I’ve been all over the country like in California – some of them have the most degraded soils, and it’s not just about organic, it’s above organic.

We’re teaching people how to farm more like nature does and reduce the tillage. Tillage can be as intrusive as chemical fertilizers and pesticides. So for my brothers and sisters of organic, I think [the key] is to help them and teach them also to reduce tillage, do more mulch tillage, and use more of the cover [crops]… Organic means they’re not using chemicals, which is fine. But [healthy soil] is about much more than that.

Do You Have a Victory Garden?

The idea of planting Victory Gardens goes back to World War I and II, and was advertised as a way for patriots to make a difference on the home front. Planting these gardens helped the citizens combat food shortages by supplying themselves and their neighbors with fresh produce.

Planting your own Victory Garden can go a long way toward healthier eating, and in the long run, it can provide incentive for industry-wide change, and a return to a diet of real food, for everyone, everywhere. A great way to get started on your own is by sprouting. They may be small, but sprouts are packed with nutrition and best of all, they’re easy and inexpensive to grow.

Share Pictures of Your Garden or Sprout Setup With Me!

Do you have pictures of your garden or sprout setup you’d like to share? I’d definitely love to see your pictures and hear your experience! Send in your pictures to gardening@mercola.com and I’ll publish my favorites.

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GcMAF treatment kills cancer cells

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by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A breakthrough cancer treatment appears to be the reason why a handful of holistic doctors were recently found “suicided” is now gaining worldwide attention as a potential universal cure for cancer. And new microscopic footage released by First Immune shows this amazing remedy in action — the human protein GcMAF is visually seen activating the body’s own macrophages, which are then able to attack and destroy breast cancer cells in vitro.

The roughly two-minute video clip, which has been posted to YouTube, reveals the true healing power of GcMAF, a human protein that the body makes naturally but that some people lack or can’t produce in adequate volume.

By delivering an activated version of this substance intravenously, scientists have shown that the immune system can be fully invigorated to destroy cancer cells on its own without the need for chemotherapy or radiation.

“Your GcMAF empowers your body to cure itself,” explains the website GcMAF.se, operated by First Immune. “In a healthy person your own GcMAF has 11 actions discovered so far, including two on cells, three excellent effects on the brain, and 6 on cancer. Amongst these it acts as a ‘director’ of your immune system.”

As you’ll notice in the above video, GcMAF serves as the energized mechanism for macrophages to target and eliminate breast cancer cells. The incredible mechanistic action of this substance is shown in amazing clarity, and is further described in an associated paper entitled “Multifaceted immunotherapeutic effects of GcMAF on human breast cancer cells.”

“Time lapse photography over 60 hours shows the cancer monolayer … first changing from corrugated to smooth … as the cancer is destroyed,” reveals First Immune. “[T]hen the cancer ‘fingers’ are also eaten and destroyed by the macrophages.”

Holistic doctors ‘suicided’ over GcMAF, which threatens to put cancer industry out of business

Short for Globulin component Macrophage Activating Factor, GcMAF just so happened to be the primary focus of research being conducted by Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, M.D., a Florida doctor who was found floating dead in a river back in June. His sudden death was immediately ruled a suicide, even though he had a gunshot wound to the chest, suggesting he was murdered.

Dr. Bradstreet’s “suicide” was just one of about seven others that occurred all around the same time, and all within the holistic healing community. Dr. Bradstreet and his other now-dead colleagues had all been involved in research focused on GcMAF’s potential as both a treatment and cure for cancer, and one that doesn’t produce deadly side effects like conventional cancer treatments do.

GcMAF doesn’t actually cure cancer, of course — it merely provides the ammunition needed by the body’s own immune system to eradicate and cure cancer itself, naturally. And this represents a threat to the pharmaceutical industry, which profits to the tune of billions of dollars annually peddling quackery like chemotherapy and radiation, both of which have been shown to cause more cancer.

“GcMAF and/or oral Colostrum MAF macrophage activation therapy is indicated in the treatment of any diseases where there is immune dysfunction or where the immune system is compromised,” explains the website of a clinic out of Japan that sells an oral form of GcMAF.

Besides cancer, the conditions listed as appropriate candidates for GcMAF treatment include:

Cancer
Autoimmune diseases
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
Herpes Simplex virus (HSV)
Cystitis
Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Endometriosis
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis)
IgA deficiency disorder
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)
Mycobacteria infections
Parkinson’s disease
Tuberculosis
Fibromyalgia
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Lupus (Systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE)
HIV AIDS
Dengue fever
Pneumonia infection
Warts caused by viral infection
Norovirus
Malaria Influenza virus (flu)
Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
Q fever (Coxiella burnetii)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Chicken pox (varicella zoster virus)
Psoriasis
Respiratory tract infections
Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease
Type 1 diabetes (T1DM), insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM)
Type 1.5 diabetes, Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA)

Read about other anti-cancer treatments from the independent media at AntiCancer.news

You can also do your own research on other types of cancer treatments at TruthWiki.org

Sources for this article include:

youtu.be

NaturalNews.com

GcMAF.se

 

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Why Does Your Stomach Growl?

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By Dr. Mercola

If asked why your stomach growls, many people would answer, “Because I’m hungry!” This is somewhat of a myth, however. Your stomach may make noise when you’re hungry and lacking food in your stomach, but it can also growl when you’re not hungry and your stomach is full.

The growling noise may not even be coming from your stomach at all but rather from your small intestines. Oftentimes, when your stomach (or bowel) makes noise, a phenomenon technically known as “borborygmi,” you may not hear it at all.

The noises are loudest when your stomach is empty, which is why they’re often associated with hunger.

What Causes Stomach Grumbling?

The rumbling sound in your stomach is the result of muscular contractions of your intestinal wall combined with the presence of liquid and gas. It’s a perfectly normal function and one that occurs most of the day.

Your intestines tend to quiet down when you’re sleeping but a complete absence of bowel sounds can actually be a sign of a medical emergency, especially if it’s accompanied by severe abdominal pain.

According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), here’s what’s really causing your noisy tummy:1

“Within the intestines, ingested fluids and solids are mixed with the daily secretion of about eight liters (two gallons) of enzyme-rich fluid, most of which is subsequently absorbed. However, fluid moving through a tube is silent – it is only when there is air in the pipes that we hear the plumbing.

In the intestine ever-present gases originate from swallowed air and the release of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and other gases by the bacterial fermentation of undigested food in the lower gut. Even when inaudible to the intestines’ owner, characteristic sounds may be listened to by a doctor or nurse using a stethoscope.

While the noisy movement of fluid and gas occurs at all levels, the most audible sounds originate from the stomach. Whether audible or not, bowel sounds in the absence of other significant symptoms are normal phenomena of no medical significance.”

Growling Is Part of the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC)

If you hear your stomach growling, it’s likely because your stomach and intestines are engaged in a process called the migrating motor complex (MMC). This typically occurs when your stomach and intestines have been empty for about two hours.

Sensing the absence of food, receptors in the walls of your stomach cause waves of electrical activity in your enteric nervous system (which is like a second brain embedded in the wall of your gut).2

This, in turn, triggers hunger contractions that travel the entire length of your gut, helping to clear out stomach contents, mucus, food particles, bacteria, and other accumulated debris between your meals. A poorly functioning MMC has been linked to abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.3

The hormone motilin is thought to be involved in triggering different phases of the MMC, but little is known about it because it’s not expressed in mice and rats (and therefore hasn’t been widely studied).

What is known is that motilin levels increase cyclically every 90 to 120 minutes between meals and its release is halted after you eat a meal. When motilin levels peak so, too, do contractions of muscles in your stomach and intestines. 4

It’s thought motilin may play a role in both obesity and hunger. Dr. Jan Tack, a professor of medicine who studies gastrointestinal disorders at Belgium’s University of Leuven, told TIME:5

“‘We have shown that motilin-induced hunger signaling is altered in people experiencing unexplained weight loss and obesity,’ he says. Tack says a person’s motilin levels also seem to change after bariatric procedures like gastric bypass surgery.

Motilin may also affect the ways you experience pleasure or a sense of reward after eating, he adds.

All of this research is very new. But manipulating motilin and the resulting MMC response may eventually emerge as a novel way to treat obesity, dyspepsia and other gut-related health issues, Tack’s research suggests.”6

When Are Bowel Sounds a Problem?

Most of the time, a noisy stomach is nothing to be concerned about. However, bowel sounds are known to increase if you have dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, or if you’re having a bout of diarrhea, due to increased muscle contractions and accumulation of fluid and gas (along with water stool in your gut).

Malabsorption conditions, such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance may also lead to what’s known as hyperactive bowel sounds. IFFGD explained:7

“… [R]educed small intestinal levels of the enzyme needed to digest the milk sugar lactose, permits that sugar to reach the colon intact where it is fermented by colon bacteria.

These organisms release hydrogen and products that attract fluids into the gut and stimulate its contractions. These amplify the three conditions that produce abdominal sounds: gut movement, gas, and fluid.”

In the more rare event of a mechanical obstruction of your gut, bowel sounds may also increase. In this case, the contractions in your intestines attempt to move solids, liquids, air, and gas through a narrowed intestine, leading to loud, often high-pitched noises.

If you’re experiencing an obstruction, the noises will be accompanied by severe abdominal pain and illness, and emergency medical attention is needed.

Too Much Sugar Can Cause a Noisy Tummy

If you find your stomach is embarrassingly noisy, it could be because you’re eating too much sugar, particularly fructose and sorbitol (found in fruits and also used as an artificial sweetener in many sugar-free gums and candies).

“Excessive amounts of these sugars… may cause diarrhea, flatus, and increased intestinal noise,” according to IFFGD.8 Not to mention, eating an excess of fructose and other sugars is one of the worst things you can do for overall gut health – a noisy, gurgling stomach is the least of it (or perhaps a symptom of it).

Sugar, for example, is a preferred food source for fungi that produce yeast infections and sinusitis, whereas healthy probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables boost populations of health-promoting bacteria, thereby disallowing potentially pathogenic colonies from taking over.

Optimizing your gut flora is actually one of the most important steps you can take for your health. Not only could it help normalize your weight and ward off diabetes, but it’s also a critical component for a well-functioning immune system, which is your primary defense against all sorts of disease.

It’s even essential for your brain health. So don’t worry if you hear your stomach growling – it’s typically totally normal. However, let it be a reminder of the complex processes going on to keep your gut, and your whole body, healthy. To support these processes and optimize your gut bacteria and microbiome as a whole, keep these recommendations in mind:

Do: Avoid:
Eat plenty of fermented foods. Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass-fed organic milk such as kefir, natto (fermented soy), and fermented vegetables. If you ferment your own, consider using a special starter culture that has been optimized with bacterial strains that produce high levels of vitamin K2.

This is an inexpensive way to optimize your K2, which is particularly important if you’re taking a vitamin D3 supplement.

Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotic supplement). And while some researchers are looking into methods that might help ameliorate the destruction of beneficial bacteria by antibiotics, your best bet is likely always going to be reseeding your gut with probiotics from fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Take a probiotic supplement. Although I’m not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are an exception if you don’t eat fermented foods on a regular basis. Conventionally raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, plus genetically engineered grains loaded with glyphosate, which is widely known to kill many bacteria.
Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts, and seeds, including sprouted seeds. Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water.
Get your hands dirty in the garden. Germ-free living may not be in your best interest, as the loss of healthy bacteria can have wide-ranging influence on your mental, emotional, and physical health.

According to the hygiene hypothesis, exposure to bacteria and viruses can serve as “natural vaccines” that strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease. Getting your hands dirty in the garden can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil.

Processed foods. Excessive sugars, along with otherwise “dead” nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria. Food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan gum also appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora.9Unless 100% organic, they may also contain GMOs that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate.
Open your windows. For the vast majority of human history the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature.

Today, we spend 90 percent of our lives indoors. And, although keeping the outside out does have its advantages, it has also changed the microbiome of your home. Research shows opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you.10

Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (RoundUp) in particular.
Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher. Recent research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and that eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may actually decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system. Antibacterial soap, as they too kill off both good and bad bacteria, and contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistance.

Join Us in Celebrating Our 18 Year Anniversary

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Sources and References
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My 2015 Exercise Recommendations and Update

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By Dr. Mercola

I’ve been exercising for 47 years now, and there’s no doubt in my mind that a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. The featured video is one I plan on updating every year for our Anniversary celebration week as my views are constantly evolving in this area.

Beginning and Ending Each Day Rested and Relaxed

My own fitness strategy these days actually begins with sleep. I use a Jawbone fitness tracker to help me monitor my daily steps and sleep.

As a general rule, I encourage you to get at least eight hours of sleep every night, and to do that, you may have to get in bed earlier than you realized. The fitness tracker can help you determine this, as it will tell you how many hours you were actually sleeping — not just lying in bed waiting to fall asleep.

It’s a really important device that helps you keep track of two crucial health factors: walking and sleeping. So that’s the first step: Start your day well-rested.

The other thing I do, before going to sleep and first thing upon waking, is to meditate. I use a clinical grade EEG headset that helps me enter the optimal meditative state. I will go into more details on that device in a future article, but the point here is to start and end your day rested and relaxed.

The Importance of Non-Exercise Movement

Next, before you even begin to consider putting together a regular exercise program, take stock of how much you move throughout each day — at work, and at home during your off-hours.

This is equally (if not more) important than working out a few times per week. In fact, even if you exercise regularly, or are a highly competitive and fit athlete, you may still endanger your health simply by sitting too much.

If you think about it, why do we exercise? We exercise because we’re trying to replicate what our ancestors did. They moved around to a far greater degree than we do today, largely because they did not have the major technology we do today to easily obtain our food and shelter.

Our ancestors didn’t have to exercise per se because they rarely sat down. They moved all day long, and research shows THIS is absolutely key for health. In fact, studies show that engaging in consistent exercise does not counteract the adverse cardiovascular and metabolic effects of prolonged sitting.

So non-exercise movement is now recognized as being a foundational piece for optimal health — even more so than exercising for an hour a few times a week. Ideally, you’d do them both, but if you’re currently sedentary, start by sitting less.

This is where the fitness tracker comes into play again. I recommend getting at least 7,000 to 10,000 steps each day, and limit sitting to three hours or less. I am so convinced of the importance of this strategy that I am in the process of purchasing stand up desks for all staff at Mercola.com.

 

More is better when it comes to non-exercise movement, and it’s really hard to overdo it unless you have a disability. I now walk about 17,000 steps per day, barefoot on the beach as much as possible, to take additional advantage of the health benefits of grounding.

In fact, these days I rarely wear shoes unless I’m traveling. Typically, I wear shoes about three hours total per week. The rest of the time I’m barefoot, as I believe grounding to the earth is another foundational health aspect.

Walking 17,000 steps a day takes me about 1 3/4 hours of dedicated daily walking and the rest I gather by walking around my home. This can seem like quite a time investment but I started reading books on my Kindle while walking, so now I’m actually able to read two to three books or more each week, which is something I love to do but rarely could find the time to do.

As an added bonus, that walking time also provides me with plenty of sun exposure as I now live in the sunshine state of Florida.

Live and Play Like You Mean It…

 

While a healthy diet accounts for about 80 percent of the benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle, exercise is the leverage that allows all of those benefits to be maximized. You simply cannot be optimally healthy without regular physical movement — and this includes both non-exercise movement throughout the day, and a more vigorous exercise regimen.

Finding ways to release the stresses of your day and getting enough sleep are also foundational components for health and well-being. The video above, featuring a Boston terrier named Rose, is a perfect example of “living life to the fullest.” She has seemingly boundless energy, and the concentration and dedication with which she keeps a balloon in the air is really amazing. Ideally the best exercise is play and it is clear that Rose is doing that.

Please also notice that during her play her body is going through just about every range of motion it needs to maintain fitness. Ideally we can figure out a comparable activity in our own life. Frisbee and tennis are two of my favorites but still don’t provide the range of motion benefits that Rose is getting.

My Current Fitness Routine

Many of you may not realize that my early life goal was to be an astronaut.

However, it’s interesting to note that the routine scientists have determined to keep astronauts healthy in space is what I wound up doing for myself in a much more comfortable environment on planet Earth.

The two areas of health that coincide are sleep and exercise. Astronauts sleep for eight and a half hours, which is precisely my sleeping time. They also exercise for two and half hours. They need to exercise that long to counteract the effects of microgravity.

While we have the benefit of gravity on earth, I do believe that we benefit from that amount of movement and exercise activity each day and interestingly, that is at least how much I exercise every day. One hour and forty-five minutes of walking every day, fifteen minutes of swimming, and at least 30 minutes of stretching and exercise.

There’s no doubt in my mind that nearly everyone can benefit from high-intensity exercise. But there are many ways to do it. Using fitness equipment such as an elliptical machine or stationary bike is one way (see demonstration below).

You can also do sand sprints, or high-intensity walking (for important safety advice and guidance, please follow the hyperlinks). Strength training is another important component, and you can also turn your strength training session into a high-intensity exercise by slowing down your movements (so-called super slow strength training).

Ideally, work with a fitness trainer if you’re new to weight lifting. If you can’t afford one, be sure to check out several different videos on each exercise on YouTube to get a good idea of the proper form. If your form is poor, you can easily injure yourself.

One way to prevent exercise injuries is a program developed by Gray Cook called Functional Movement System (FMS). I highly recommend getting an FMS assessment if you can, as it can tell you where your weaknesses are and allow you to customize a program around those weak areas to strengthen them without injuring yourself.

Ideally you should have a personal trainer to make sure your form is correct. However I realize many can’t afford one so thankfully we have YouTube now and you can easily search just about any exercise and find hundreds of examples of how to do the exercise. Watch as many as you can and you will have a pretty good idea of what good form looks like.

My current workout incorporates kettlebells, which I demonstrate in the featured video. Unlike lifting a dumbbell, which keeps your center of gravity fixed, kettlebells incorporate movements that throw off your center of gravity and use your core muscles to keep you balanced.

The end result is a dynamic, whole-body exercise routine that incorporates cardiovascular, resistance, and range-of-motion training into one workout. Pavel Tsatsouline has written Kettlebell Simple and Sinister, which is likely the best book on this topic. It’s available on Amazon. In the video above, I demonstrate my current kettlebell routine, which includes:

  • Kettlebell swing: five sets of 20 repetitions
  • Turkish get-ups: five on each side

Next, I do 10 reps of deadlifts using 170-pound free weights. This is probably the single best exercise to build strength. My goal is to deadlift 400 pounds by the end of this year. The key is to lift with your thighs and legs, not your back. It really is important to keep your chest forward and lift with your legs to prevent hurting your back.

The Importance of Stretching

Flexibility training is another important component. To achieve optimal fitness you really need to be able to move freely in all directions without any limitations to your range of motion (ROM), as this is what allows you to participate in all of life’s wonderful activities.

Many fitness trainers still recommend stretching movements that last up to 60 seconds. For decades this prolonged static stretching technique has been the gold standard. Research shows prolonged static stretching actually decreases the blood flow within your tissue, creating localized ischemia (a restriction in blood supply), and lactic acid buildup. This can potentially cause irritation or injury of local muscular, tendinous, lymphatic, as well as neural tissues.

Aaron Mattes, who has worked with tens of thousands of patients, including many Olympic and professional athletes, developed a program called active isolated stretching (AIS), which is a great way to warm up before exercise. AIS works with the primary laws of your body, allowing elongation of muscle and fascial tissue without eliciting your body’s protective mechanisms that would inhibit safe, effective stretching and overall flexibility.

You use very gentle pressure and 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. You have to be careful not to use too much pressure so as not to engage the Golgi tendon and myotatic stretch, which act as safety mechanisms that if engaged will prevent the stretch from working. The keys to using AIS effectively include:

  • First move the joint as far as you can in the direction of the stretch. This is the ACTIVE part of the exercise which activates the antagonistic muscles that inhibit the stretch. Many fail to do this and only passively stretch the muscle and that simply will not work. It is the most common mistake people make doing this work
  • Stretch the muscle gradually with a GENTLE stretch of less than one pound of pressure toward the end point of ROM, and then hold it for TWO SECONDS
  • Do NOT push through the stretch; instead do multiple stretches and with each stretch you get more ROM
  • Usually you do sets of 10 reps

It is important to always return the area being stretched to the starting position before continuing the next repetition, as this will allow the tissue to receive blood that carries oxygen and nutrients through the movement of your lymphatic fluid, and it will also allow waste products generated during the stretch to be removed.

High-Intensity Interval Training Using an Elliptical

High-intensity interval exercises (HIIT) are far superior to typical aerobic cardio exercises. Unlike long, slow cardio, it engages your fast and super-fast twitch muscle fibers, which has many beneficial effects on the metabolic systems in your body.

By engaging these fast and super-fast twitch muscle fibers, HIIT promotes the production of human growth hormone (HGH), a synergistic, foundational biochemical underpinning that helps support your strength training and other exercises, so that they work to your advantage and help you burn off calories effectively. Benefits of HIIT include:

Reduced body fat Firmer skin and less wrinkles Improved athletic speed and performance
Dramatically improved muscle tone More energy and libido Rapid achievement of your fitness goals

The key to performing HIIT exercises properly is to raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold. Keep pushing at maximum effort for 30 seconds, and then rest for 90 seconds. Here’s a summary of what a typical Peak Fitness routine might look like:

  1. Warm up for three minutes.
  2. Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. By the end of this 30-second period, you should reach these markers:
    • You will be in oxygen debt, and will have difficulty breathing
    • You will begin to sweat profusely. Typically, this occurs in the second or third repetition, unless you don’t sweat much normally, which could be an indication of a thyroid issue
    • There will be a rise in your body temperature
    • You will feel a muscle “burn” as your lactic acid increases
  3. Recover for 90 seconds.
  4. Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery five to seven more times. If you’re out of shape, start with just two or three repetitions, and work your way up to eight.

 

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Friendship Fights Depression, Researchers Find

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By Dr. Mercola

Previous research shows that having a strong social network of good friends is a significant factor in longevity. If you’re socially isolated, you may experience poor health and a shorter lifespan.

Friendships can also be a significant factor in successful recuperation from depression. According to recent research,1 good mood and a positive outlook can actually spread like a contagion through social groups.

Perhaps more importantly, this study refutes earlier claims that depression is “contagious,” finding instead that only positive moods tend to spread among people in close association.

Certainly, being depressed can have a dampening effect on the mood of those around you, but according to the authors, there’s little risk of a depressed person actually pulling others into a state of clinical depression.

Friends Can Help Protect You from Depression

Data from more than 2,000 high school students was reviewed in this study. Over a period of six to 12 months, the students answered questions about symptoms of depression and who their friends were.

As reported by The Atlantic:2

“Kids who initially scored as clinically depressed did not ‘infect’ their friends, but if they had enough friends who had what the study called a ‘healthy mood’… that doubled their chances of recovering from their depression.

And for people who weren’t depressed in the first place, having enough mentally healthy friends halved their chances of developing depression.

That’s a pretty large effect, and supports previous research3 saying that high-quality social relationships lower people’s risk of depression.”

According to the authors, when you find clusters of friends who are depressed, which other studies have found, this probably isn’t due to one depressed individual pulling the others into the dumps with them.

Instead, it may be due to be due to a third factor. Perhaps they’re all heavy drinkers for example, or engaging in other activities that promote a negative mindset.

Co-author Thomas House claims their study method “wasn’t susceptible to that because we looked at direct changes of state. We were pretty much directly observing this process of your friend influencing you.

And the nice conclusion that we got was that your friends can protect you from depression and help you recover from it.”

The Inflammatory Roots of Depression

As important as friendships can be, it will probably not solve depression rooted in poor diet and lifestyle habits though.

It’s important to realize that, contrary to popular belief, depression is not likely caused by unbalanced brain chemicals; however there are a number of otherbiological factors that appear to be highly significant.

Chronic inflammation is one such factor.4

For example, researchers have found that melancholic depression, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression are associated with elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines in combination with decreased cortisol sensitivity (cortisol is both a stress hormone and a buffer against inflammation).5

Scientists have also found that your mental health can be adversely impacted by factors such as vitamin D deficiency and/or unbalanced gut flora — both of which, incidentally, play a role in keeping inflammation in check, which is really what the remedy to depression is all about.

Sugar, found in ample supply in most processed foods, is among the most pro-inflammatory ingredients there are, so the first step would be to replace processed foods with real, whole foods (ideally organic to avoid harmful pesticides and other detrimental ingredients).

Besides promoting chronic inflammation, refined sugar can exert a toxic effect by contributing to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which play a significant role in your mental health.

Sugar also suppresses activity of a key growth hormone called BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) which promotes healthy brain neurons. BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, which animal models suggest might actually be causative.

Sugar also facilitates the growth of pathogenic microbes in your gut and causes an imbalance of your microbiome that will also contribute to depression through a wide variety of mechanisms.

What to Do if Someone You Know Is Depressed

Perhaps one of the most helpful things you can do if you have a friend or family member that struggles with depression is to help guide them toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, as making changes can be particularly difficult when you’re feeling blue — or worse, suicidal.

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department. You can’t make long-term plans for lifestyle changes when you are in a crisis.

One Boy’s Sadness Turns Into a Smile Campaign

 

On the topic of friendship, this CBS report features a young boy with remarkable emotional resilience and capacity to reach out in friendship to others despite his own pain. By the time he was six years old, Jaden Hayes had lost both parents. While heartbroken, he was still determined to live with joy, and one day he told his aunt and guardian he was “sick and tired of seeing everyone so sad all the time.”

He wanted to turn people’s frowns into smiles. And so began this young boy’s “smile campaign.” Since that day, he and his aunt have handed out about 500 toys — small rubber duckies, dinosaurs, etc. — just to make people smile, who weren’t. His goal, he says, is to make 33,000 people smile; a goal he may well have reached already through this news report.

Jaden is proof positive that going through a rough time in life does not automatically doom you to depression and despair. You have a choice in how you deal with your situation. And while some seem to have a “hardier” emotional constitution than others, happiness if often a choice that we make.

That said, your lifestyle can wield great influence over your emotional and mental state, so it would be unreasonable to say a depressed person should simply “snap out of it” and “turn their frown upside-down.” I believe most cases of depression are rooted in an unhealthy diet and subsequent gut dysfunction and/or nutritional deficiencies, with vitamin D and omega-3 being two very significant ones, in terms of their effect on mental health.

The Importance of Omega-3

Healthy fats play a particularly important role in depression. Without healthy fats, your brain function may be adversely affected, and one potential side effect is depression, as well as more serious psychiatric disorders.

Healthy fats include saturated fats like avocados, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, raw dairy, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, raw nuts, and grass-fed meats.

You’ll want to make sure you’re getting plenty of these types of fat in your diet.

Beyond that, animal-based omega-3 fat, found in fish and krill oil, may be the single most important nutrient to battle depression. It’s particularly important when combating more serious problems such as psychosis and schizophrenia.

In one recent study,6,7,8,9 taking an omega-3 supplement for three months substantially reduced the risk of developing a psychotic disorder in the future. Eighty-one individuals considered at risk for developing schizophrenia or psychosis took part in the randomized, double blind trial.

Half of them got a daily course of fish oil for 12 weeks while the other half received a placebo. After the intervention period, all participants were monitored for one full year.

Seventy-six of the 81 participants completed the study, and only two of the 41 people who took fish oil went on to develop a psychotic disorder during the follow-up period. In the placebo group, 11 of the 40 participants developed psychosis.

Interestingly, seven years later, only four from the original treatment group had developed a psychotic disorder compared to a total of 16 in the placebo group, suggesting even short-term omega-3 supplementation can have long lasting effects.

Eating Real Food May Be Key for Successful Treatment of Depression

The evidence clearly indicates that your diet plays a key role in your mental health, for better or worse. So if you’re struggling with depression, mood swings, or feel yourself sliding into “the blues,” I strongly advise you to look at what you’re eating. The key is to eat real food, ideally organic (to avoid chemical exposures) and locally grown (for maximum freshness).

Also make sure to eat plenty of traditionally cultured and fermented foods, which will help nourish beneficial bacteria in your gut. Good examples include fermented vegetables of all kinds, including sauerkraut and kimchi, kombucha (a fermented drink), as well as fiber-rich prebiotic foods like jicama (Mexican yam).

Optimizing your gut flora appears to be absolutely crucial for good mental health, which is understandable when you consider that gut bacteria actually manufacture neurochemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, along with vitamins that are important for brain health. In fact, you have a greater concentration of serotonin in your gut than in your brain.

I recommend eating REAL food and avoiding all types of processed foods, including certified organic ones, as processed foods are no longer “alive.” What you’re looking for is whole, unadulterated foods, with which to cook from scratch (or eat raw). Processed foods are simply loaded with ingredients known to alter your gut flora and promote inflammation, thereby inviting depression. This includes:

  • Added sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • Genetically engineered (GE) ingredients (primarily corn, soy, and sugar beets) which, besides their own unknown health risks, also tend to be heavily contaminated with glyphosate — a Class 2A carcinogen that can also damage yourgut microbiome and has been linked to antibiotic-resistance. Most conventional (non-GE) wheat is also treated with toxic glyphosate prior to harvesting.
  • By altering the balance of your gut flora, pesticides and herbicides also disrupt the production of essential amino acids like tryptophan, a serotonin precursor, and promote production of p-cresol, a compound that interferes with metabolism of other environmental chemicals, thereby increasing your vulnerability to their toxic effects.
  • Artificial sweeteners, along with thousands of food additives, most of which have never been tested for safety
  • Chemicals in the food packaging, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates, which can migrate into the food
  • Trans fats

Join Us in Celebrating Our 18 Year Anniversary

From August 23rd – 29th, I am celebrating the 18 year anniversary of Mercola.com. To commemorate this event, we’ve put together an anniversary lineup that you won’t want to miss. All of the content is absolutely free for all Mercola.com subscribers so if you’re not subscribed, please take a moment to do so.

By enrolling now, during our 1 week celebration you’ll gain exclusive access to:

  • Product Giveaways
  • Educational Training
  • Live Webinars
  • Rare Presentations
  • A Never-Before-Seen Documentary
  • Fun Surprises
  • And Much Much More!

It’s not too late to RSVP; join now to be a part of this spectacular celebration!

 

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Five Items You Need to Address to Reverse Just About Any Illness

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By Dr. Mercola

Life is a journey and for most of us health is an important part of that journey, because if you have health challenges your ability to manifest your passions will be seriously impaired.

One of my primary passions is health, which is one of the reasons I went to medical school. But that was only a start, as most of what I have learned about optimizing health occurred long after my medical school graduation over 30 years ago.

After three decades of managing patients from all over the world and reviewing hundreds of thousands of studies, I have reached some conclusions about how to avoid or reverse most any disease you can acquire.

After 18 years of writing and editing this newsletter I have learned how to translate this information into easy to understand language, which I believe is one of its primary benefits, as it was one of the first sites to translate complex medical jargon into easy to understand language.

Best Health Strategies for You

However, the daily newsletter articles usually focus on one specific topic and do not seek to put a comprehensive health recommendation in one place. That is why I wrote my current New York Times bestselling book Effortless Healingearlier this year.

Effortless Healing compresses tens of thousands of pages an easy to understand 350-page book. If you are new to the site or natural medicine I would strongly encourage you to pick up a copy and carefully review it, as it will help put everything together for you. It makes a wonderful gift for someone who is new to natural healing.

It is clear from a number of the questions submitted that many are unaware that I have compiled about 100 pages of detailed dietary recommendations. If you haven’t yet reviewed it I would encourage you to review my nutrition plan

However I realize that not everyone likes to read, which is why I produced a one-hour PBS special for people that are completely new to natural medicine and you are welcome to view it in my Effortless Healing Guidelines article posted on August 23.  I’ve also embedded it below for your convenience.

But most readers of this site know the basics I presented, which is why I wanted to do an advanced version for you and, even more importantly, have the opportunity to dialog with me directly and ask for clarification on the recommendations.

My live webinar presentation will assume that you know the basics presented in my PBS special and provide advanced strategies. I will seek to answer the most important of the over 300 questions that were posted for the webinar.

Join My Live Anniversary Thank You Webinar Today!

To celebrate 18 years of the newsletter and thank you all for your generous support, I’m going to provide you with an opportunity to interact with me directly through the magic of the Internet.

So today Wednesday August 26th at 10 AM CST, I will be conducting the first of a two-day free webinar in which I will review the most important items you need to implement to radically improve your health.

I have listed an outline of what I will discuss below. You are welcome to submit any questions you have on this material by accessing the webinar page early.

For the last few weeks we have had our anniversary page that allowed readers to post their question. We have picked the best of the over 300 questions and look forward to the opportunity to answer them during the next two days.

Donate Today!

The Five Items You Need to Address to Reverse Just About Any Illness

The more I study natural medicine, the more it becomes clear to me that the solution for most all illness involves some fairly basic concepts. In my experience, if you apply these principles early enough with most illnesses you will activate your body’s healing response and recover from your illness.

The basic principles involve sun, water, movement, food, and sleep. In my experience most people who have just started investigating the power of natural medicine fail to comprehensively integrate all of these principles and reap the powerful synergistic benefits they can provide.

Access Sun Exposure as Much as Possible

There are many benefits of sun exposure. The UVB in the sun will help your body produce vitamin D, and optimal levels are crucial to prevent diseases like obesity, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and dozens of other diseases.

Also, and this is important, if you have cancer or an autoimmune disease like MS, Crohn’s, or rheumatoid arthritis, it is absolutely vital to raise your vitamin D to an optimal biological level.

Regular sun exposure not only provides UVB but over 1500 wavelengths and we most likely will not full appreciate the value of regular exposure to many of these wavelengths for hundreds of years. We do know that infrared exposure helps your body form structured water.

However, many people are confused about sun exposure, and don’t understand that to reap the benefits they need a significant amount of skin exposed to the sun for their skin to stimulate vitamin D production.

Even if you live in a sunny climate during the summer it’s experience that it is the rare individual that is getting adequate sun exposure. This is typically due to the simple fact that most people have responsibilities during the work week that keeps them indoors, out of the sun. Remember that 15 to 30 minutes of eating outside with all your clothes on is not going to give you healthy vitamin D levels.

There is simply no question that regular sun exposure is the ideal as it will provide you with far more than just UVB, but if you, like most people, are unable to do this, then you must take oral vitamin D and regularly test your blood until your level is above 50 ng/ml.

Vitamin K2 has virtually the same benefits as vitamin D and works synergistically with vitamin D. If you are taking oral vitamin D you simply must have a regular source of vitamin K2. Sadly there is no commercial test for vitamin K2. However, I’m actually in discussion with the appropriate clinical director for Quest to offer this test commercially soon. I’m really excited as it will allow the necessary research to be done.

Remember that just being out in sun will NOT work if you are fully clothed; you need to expose significant amounts of your skin to the sun to improve your vitamin D levels. The time necessary varies based on your age, weight (as fat tissue sucks up vitamin D), skin color, season, latitude, altitude, cloud cover, and time of day.

The range can be anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. The only way to know for sure is to make sure you never get burnt and to measure your vitamin D blood levels. Also, if you take oral supplements it’s important to take vitamin K2, about 150 mcg as MK7.

Fermented vegetables would also work but only if they are made using a starter culture using special bacteria designed to make more vitamin K2, otherwise they will not have enough K2. That is why we created a special starter culture calledKinetic Culture that will provide you with therapeutic levels.

Remember most fermented foods, especially yogurt that you purchase in the grocery store are nothing more than creamy junk food. Avoid them. Only consume yogurt you make yourself or purchase from ones that have been approved by Cornucopia.

Drink Clean Water, Free of Toxins Like Chlorine and Fluoride

Remember that most municipal water supplies are contaminated with chlorine disinfection byproducts and fluoride. It is relatively easy to remove chlorine and disinfection byproducts with high quality carbon filters. My favorite is the whole house water filter we sell in our store. The only concern is that it will restrict the flow of your water to 7.5 gallons per minute. So most people get two and hook them up in parallel to get 15 gallons per minute.

The large filters are good for 5 to 10 years but the prefilters need to be changed every month or two. However carbon filters don’t remove fluoride very well, so reverse osmosis or distillers are the only option. My favorite is reverse osmosis (RO) as they don’t damage the water as much.

The downside of RO filters is most have a holding tank that invariably becomes contaminated and needs to be regularly disinfected with chlorine, which is a maintenance hassle. The work-around for this is to use one that has a high output without a holding tank that you can fill a large glass container with.

We have been working on this for a few years and hope to release one in the near future. Some of the new updates here include improving the water after it is filtered, as many filters, especially reverse osmosis and distillation, destructure the water. The best way to restore the structure is to use a high-quality vortexing device and then refrigerate the water until you drink it.

The update is that we have been developing a new vortexer with a one gallon glass jar that is half the price of most vortexers out there. It has taken us a few years to develop this product and it’s patented. We hope to launch it before Christmas. Many may know that I have not been a fan of alkaline water. However there is recent research that shows alkaline water may work but NOT because of its pH.

There is a quite a bit of research out of Japan showing the value of hydrogen supplementation and one of the best ways to do that is in water. The problem is that most alkalinizers, especially the ones sold in MLM settings, do work initially but the plates that generate the hydrogen build up scale in a few weeks and unless you invest hours of work in removing them you will not get the benefits. Not to worry though, as we are diligently working on a device to provide hydrogen water, but we have at least another year of research before we can bring it to market.

Eat Real Food at the Right Time

It is important to realize that if you implement these simple food strategies you can prevent and reverse most any disease. Getting your nutrition correct is the first step in healing just about any disease. For some diseases, like type 2 two diabetes, it will cure virtually every case. It will also prevent and treat most heart disease, cancers, and Alzheimer’s. You typically don’t need special herbs or supplements to resolve diabetes. They might help but the key is removing the insulin resistance with diet and exercise.

So what is the common thread that runs through these diseases? If you are a long time reader you probably know that the answer is insulin resistance. Resolve insulin resistance and you no longer have type 2 diabetes, and you dramatically reduce if not eliminate your risk of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. The simple key is to EAT REAL FOOD.

Ideally growing it yourself is best. A great way to start is growing your own sunflower seed sprouts. From seed to harvest is under 10 days. We even sell sunflower seed kits that make it easy for you. The risk of contamination is very small if you grow them yourself. Most all contaminated ones are commercially grown. Next best is locally grown and organic. But if you can’t do this for whatever reason, you still need to eat vegetables. Even non-organic ones are better than no vegetables at all.

I have mentioned it many times in previous articles but remember that local Weston A. Price Chapter leaders are available all over the world. Find one close to you and they can network you with the best local options for real foods in your area. That means avoiding all processed foods, and especially sugars and processed grains, or even worse, heated oils. I am not sure which is worse, processed sugar or fats, but the key is to avoid both. That means industrialized polyunsaturated oils in a bottle, like corn or canola oil.

Saturated fats like coconut oil are fine, as are olive oil, butter, avocado, and nuts (especially macadamia and pecans). But how do you know if you have insulin resistance? Simple: if you are overweight, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or taking a statin, you likely have it, but to know for sure, have a fasting blood insulin level test. If it’s over 5 you’re insulin resistant.

Until you resolve your insulin resistance it is best to avoid even healthy grains and limit your fruits to 25 grams of fructose or less per day. Once you resolve your insulin resistance you can increase your healthy grains and fruits to whatever level you enjoy as long as insulin resistance doesn’t recur.

The Timing of Your Food Is KEY

Insulin resistance is epidemic in our culture. Resolving it will be vital to improving just about any health problem. The most powerful strategy I have ever encountered is to replicate our ancestral eating patterns. Remember, your ancient ancestors never had access to food 24/7 so it makes perfect sense that your genes and metabolism are optimized for regular periods where you don’t eat.

For more details on this powerful intervention please review this earlier article on intermittent fasting. The key is to restrict your calories to a 6 to 8 hour window, and eat no calories for the remainder of the day. You can drink water, tea, or coffee as long as there is no dairy or sweetener in them.

But since this an update I have some important new observations for advanced readers. You might recall from earlier articles that I said breakfast was the least important meal of the day. Well, I have subsequently come to realize that for many people it can indeed be an important meal. Let me explain why. I have long taught that it was best to avoid any food or calories for at least three hours before you go to bed. A problem with skipping breakfast is that it does not allow you to fast for even longer before you sleep.

Improving Your Mitochondria for Your Health, Energy, and Longevity

Why is it important to have a long span of time during which you’re not eating before bed? Largely this is due to the way your body creates energy, which is through your mitochondria. These tiny bacterial derivatives live inside your cell and are optimized to create energy from the food you eat and the air you breathe.

The mitochondria create energy by generating electrons that are normally transferred to ATP (adenosine triphosphate). When you don’t have insulin resistance this energy transfer works quite nicely, but when you are insulin resistant or you eat excessively, all hell can break loose. If you eat excessive food and you don’t burn the calories with movement fairly shortly after consuming the calories, the electrons back up inside the mitochondria as there is plenty of ATP that isn’t being used.

The problem is that these electrons are highly reactive and they start to leak out of the electron transport chain in the mitochondria, and if enough electrons leak out they wind up prematurely killing the mitochondria, and then wreak further havoc by damaging your cell membranes and DNA. There are many knowledgeable experts that believe this is one of the keys to accelerated aging.

So how can you apply this knowledge? Simple: resolve your insulin resistance as soon as you can, and do not eat for AT LEAST three hours before you go to sleep. This is because your body will use the least amount of calories when sleeping and the LAST thing you need is excess fuel generating free radicals damaging your tissues.

Interestingly, by applying this principle, if you have insulin resistance this will help you resolve it. This is one of the reasons why I believe skipping dinner may be a better strategy. Clearly that’s more difficult to implement from a social perspective, but it might be a superior biological strategy. Personally, I stop eating now around 4 PM and have 6 to 7 hours of fasting before I go to sleep.

You Must Regularly Move Your Body to Stay Healthy

The average American adult spends about 10 hours (or more) each day sitting, and more than 10,000 studies have now confirmed that chronic sitting is a potent independent risk factor for insulin resistance1 and an early death – even if you eat right, exercise regularly, and are very fit; even a professional or Olympic level athlete. It’s really important to realize that you simply cannot offset 10 hours of stillness with one hour of exercise. You need near-continuous movement throughout the day. Once you’ve sat for an hour, you’ve sat too long.

For a while I recommended getting up every 10 minutes, but for me that failed miserably. The only thing that worked was to restrict my sitting to less than one hour a day. So ideally, strive to sit for less than three hours a day, and make it a point to walk more. A stand-up desk is a great option if you have an office job, and a fitness tracker or smartphone can be used to ensure you’re getting the recommended 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day.

Next, you’ll want to incorporate a more regimented fitness routine, and while virtually any exercise is better than none, high intensity exercises are the most potent. Benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) includes cardiovascular fitness, improved muscle growth and strength, and the generation of “anti-aging” human growth hormone (HGH), also referred to as “the fitness hormone.”

It also effectively stimulates your muscles to release anti-inflammatory myokines, which increase your insulin sensitivity and glucose use inside your muscles. They also increase liberation of fat from adipose cells, and the burning of the fat within the skeletal muscle.

Strength training is also an important component, and is recommended for both sexes of all ages, including kids and seniors. Gaining more muscle through resistance exercises has many benefits, from losing excess fat to maintaining healthy bone mass and preventing age-related muscle loss as you age.

High-intensity strength training (a.k.a. super slow weight training) also has the added benefit of triggering greater amounts of anti-inflammatory myokines than regular HIIT. So if you want to combat chronic inflammation in your body, high intensity weight training may offer additional benefits over other forms of HIIT training.

Whatever you choose to do, please do take the time to exercise, and incorporate as much physical activity into your life as you can.

Many of you may not realize that my early life goal was to be an astronaut, but my encounter with the military in the application process made it very clear that government employment was not for me. I also would not go into space because of the radiation dangers. However, it’s interesting to note that the routine scientists have determined to keep astronauts healthy in space is what I wound up doing for myself in a much more comfortable environment on planet Earth.

The two areas of health that coincide are sleep and exercise. Astronauts sleep for eight and a half hours, which is precisely my sleeping time. They also exercise for two and half hours. They need to exercise that long to counteract the effects of microgravity.

While we have the benefit of gravity on earth, I do believe that we benefit from that amount of movement and exercise activity each day and interestingly, that is at least how much I exercise every day. One hour and forty-five minutes of walking every day, fifteen minutes of swimming and at least 30 minutes of stretching and exercise.

You Are Not Special — We All Need to Sleep Eight Hours to Stay Healthy

Most fail to fully appreciate how important sleep is to their health. I know, as I was one of them. However I have since learned to appreciate the major role that adequate sleep plays in recovery, repair, and optimal healing. I used to think I was immune to needing adequate sleep. I would routinely get less than six hours a night and thought I could function this way. But I’ve since realized that most adults really need about eight hours of sleep every night.

There are exceptions to this rule. A genetic mutation resulting in a condition called advanced phase sleep syndrome allow affected individuals to thrive on less sleep, but fewer than one in 10,000 people have this condition. Odds are you are not one of them. I do personally know someone though with this condition: Dr. Michael Holick, world class vitamin D expert. He has done well with only four hours of sleep his entire life.

When I first started using a fitness tracker, I was striving to get eight hours of sleep, but my Jawbone UP typically recorded me at 7.5 hours. So I went to bed earlier and now average about 8.5 hours of sleep every night. The fitness tracker helped me realize that unless I am asleep, not just in bed, but asleep by 10:00 PM I won’t get my eight hours. Gradually I have been able to get this down to 9:30 PM. If I wake up before 4:30 AM I typically try to go back to sleep. But after that time I find it too difficult so I merely meditate for an hour.

Frequent yawning during the day is a major red flag that you’re sleep deprived, as is nodding off when you’re reading or in a meeting. If you need an alarm clock to wake up, and you wake up feeling tired and groggy, you probably need to go to sleep earlier (or get more restful sleep) as well. If you struggle with sleep apnea, skip the CPAP and consider a consult with an oral myofascial therapist. You can review my interview with Joy Moeller for more information.

What to Do Next

If you apply the principles that I review they will likely resolve over 80 percent of your health problems. If you have an area that I have not addressed that you still have questions on, then please use the search box as the top of every page on the site. There are 18 years’ worth of articles there and odds are very high I have previously addressed your concern.

If you still have a question, then I would encourage you to find a natural medicine clinician. There are many good ones out there. A great strategy is to use social networking and go to your local health food stores and get a consensus as to who the best ones in your area are. If you have a rare or complex problem you might need to search the web and forums to find a world class expert. I believe the time and expense will be worth it.

I used to see patients from all over the world and know firsthand how glad and grateful my patients were to make the effort as they typically resolved their health challenge without dangerous drugs or surgery, and are healthy today as a result. It is vital to maintain a positive attitude the entire time and know that if you are committed to finding a natural solution you will find one. It’s merely a matter of time. Always remember that you have the power to take control of you and your family’s health.

Join Us in Celebrating Our 18 Year Anniversary

From August 23rd – 29th, I am celebrating the 18 year anniversary of Mercola.com. To commemorate this event, we’ve put together an anniversary lineup that you won’t want to miss. All of the content is absolutely free for all Mercola.com subscribers so if you’re not subscribed, please take a moment to do so.

By enrolling now, during our 1 week celebration you’ll gain exclusive access to:

  • Product Giveaways
  • Educational Training
  • Live Webinars
  • Rare Presentations
  • A Never-Before-Seen Documentary
  • Fun Surprises
  • And Much Much More!

It’s not too late to RSVP; join now to be a part of this spectacular celebration!

Sources and References
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Turning the Tide on Health Freedom

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By Dr. Mercola

The mission of Mercola.com and its Health Liberty partners is to inform and educate you about the fraud and deception created by the junk food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries that threaten your health.

We’re committed to raising awareness on health issues that are being manipulated distorted by big business – and this dedication, shared and supported by readers like you, is making a world of difference.

Health Liberty is the name of our nonprofit coalition that includes:

  • The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC)
  • Fluoride Action Network (FAN)
  • Organic Consumers Association (OCA)
  • Consumers for Dental Choice

It was formed to help protect your freedom to make voluntary health choices.

Each partner-organization has a rich history of advocacy and active campaigning for change and better access to truly empowering health information. With your help, we’ve achieved a number of accomplishments.

There are also a number of current campaigns that need your urgent support to succeed.

Mercury-Free Dentistry Is Forging Ahead

Amalgam is the #1 use of mercury in America today. By straitjacketing low- and moderate-income consumers, Aetna is one of the major causes of mercury pollution in America today.” – Charlie Brown, Executive Director, Consumers for Dental Choice.

Amalgam dental fillings, which are 50 percent mercury, have been causing a wide range of problems for the past 150 years. Not only does it expose you to mercury, it also damages your teeth, and is a major source of environmental mercury pollution.

The intention of Consumers for Dental Choice is to end the use of mercury fillings, not just in the US, but around the world. In the video above, Charlie Brown discusses the battle to ban mercury fillings worldwide.

After years of intense grassroots work, they successfully got dental amalgam included in the Minamata treaty on mercury, which is a legally binding international treaty to control the use of mercury worldwide.

This was a tremendous victory. The treaty, signed into action in October 2013, marks the beginning of the end for dental amalgam around the world, as it mandates that each nation phase down its use of amalgam.

The treaty has a road map for how to accomplish this, including switching dental school curriculums to composites as the primary material, re-training dentists, changing insurance to prefer alternatives, and developing a national plan to reduce amalgam use.

However, while the US was the first country to ratify the treaty, it is no surprise that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still dragging its heels, and has failed to uphold its promise to create a rule on amalgam.

The agency still allows the use of amalgam without any warnings or disclosures that it contains mercury, and even supports deceiving parents by calling these mercury products “silver fillings” — referring to the color of the material rather than its composition.

In the year ahead, with your help, Consumers for Dental Choice will continue to fight to break down these barriers so all consumers have access to mercury-free dentistry.

If you didn’t do so during Mercury-Free Dentistry Week, I encourage you to join Consumer’s for Dental Choice’s newsletter list on ToxicTeeth.org, or Mercury-Free.org, and to make a donation to this worthy cause.

Donate Today!

GMO Labeling in the US Is at Grave Risk — Act Now!

Download Interview Transcript

“We knew from the European Union for example that once these genetically engineered foods and food ingredients are labeled – consumers don’t want to buy them, grocery stores won’t sell them, restaurants won’t serve them, and farmers won’t grow them. So if we can’t get the government to act, we’ll act as our own government.” – Ronnie Cummins, Found of Organic Consumers Association (OCA)

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) have been instrumental in raising awareness about the dangers and prevalence of genetically engineered foods, and the necessity to label them.

We have been very active in campaigning for GMO labeling state laws, and Vermont became the first state to pass such a bill in 2014. In the video above Ronnie Cummins from OCA discusses how you can help fight GMOs.

Unfortunately, we’re now facing a major roadblock with the House of Representatives passing HR 15991 (“The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”2,3,4 a.k.a. the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” or DARK Act).

The “DARK” Act specifically preempts states’ rights to create their own GMO food labeling laws and, if passed by the Senate, will effectively block Vermont’s GMO labeling law, set to take effect in 2016.

The bill would also allow food manufacturers to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs. We now only have a very limited time to set our senators straight on this issue.

If you’ve not done so already, I urge you to contact your senators and implore them to NOT support HR 1599. Tell them this bill is an attack on consumer rights and states’ rights, and you expect your elected officials to protect you.

You can find your senators’ contact information by clicking the button below, or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

More Studies Emerge Linking Water Fluoridation to Health Risks

“We need education to fight tooth decay in low income families … Our kids are getting too much sugar; it’s not a lack of fluoride it’s too much sugar that causes tooth decay.” –Paul Connett, Director of The Fluoride Action Network (FAN)

Dr. Paul Connett, PhD, executive director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), is a recognized leader in the fluorideeducation movement, spearheading the organized efforts to remove fluoride from drinking water in the US and elsewhere. Contrary to popular belief, the science clearly demonstrates that fluoride is a toxic chemical that accumulates in your body and produces a number of serious adverse health effects, including neurological and endocrine dysfunction.

Children are particularly at risk for adverse effects of overexposure, and in April this year, the US government admitted that the “optimal” level of fluoride recommended since 1962 had in fact been too high. The video above was featured during fluoride awareness week; Paul Connett from FAN discusses the risks of fluoridation that you may have not been aware of.

As a result, 40 percent of American teens show signs of overexposure5 a condition known as dental fluorosis. So, for the first time, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lowered its recommended level of fluoride in drinking water6,7,8 to a maximum of 0.7 mg/L.

While the reduction of the recommended level is good news, it’s not good enough. There’s plenty of reason to believe that many will still be overexposed at this level. And, considering the fact that fluoride is a toxic drug administered without prescription or dosage control, the optimal dosage of fluoride in water is really zero

Part of the deception that still needs to be broken down is the absurd claim that the only documented drawback or health risk of water fluoridation is dental fluorosis, which is (also falsely) said to be a primarily cosmetic concern.9 This stance completely ignores evidence showing that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor — a finding reported for the first time in 2006.10Endocrine disruptors can disrupt the biology of both humans and animals, and this is certainly far more significant than dental fluorosis.

Moreover, there are 43 studies showing water fluoridation lowers IQ, and a number of those studies11,12,13,14 have specifically shown that children who have moderate or severe dental fluorosis score lower on tests measuring cognitive skills and IQ. This suggests that if 40 percent of our kids have dental fluorosis, water fluoridation is likely affecting our children’s IQ as well. This year we also saw the publication of brand new studies linking water fluoridation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)15 and hypothyroidism.16,17,18,19

In response to this alarming research, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has launched a nationwide billboard and poster campaign to warn parents that fluoride is classified as a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity”by the EPA.

The billboards ask, “Do you really want your child to drink a neurotoxic chemical?” and urge citizens to “stop artificial water fluoridation,” and to get more information from FAN’s science-based website FluorideAction.net. The first billboards – designed by artist Donna Mayne from Ontario, Canada – were put up in Fircrest and Tacoma, Washington on June 29th.

FAN has made arrangements with a major national outdoor advertising company to help groups and committed individuals put up these billboards at a significantly discounted rate and customized to display your local campaign’s webpage or Facebook address. The billboards and posters will add adrenaline and momentum to your local campaign, as well as to the entire worldwide movement to end fluoridation.

Participants should expect it to generate local media coverage, gain the attention of local officials, help recruit supporters, and shock your neighbors into researching the issue for themselves.

  • If you or your local fluoride-free campaign would like to run this billboard, please contact FAN’s Campaign Manager (stuart@fluoridealert.org).
  • To order a poster version of this billboard (without the Facebook address), contact FAN’s Managing Director (ellen@fluoridealert.org).

Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives do not belong in our water supplies. You can support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network. In my opinion, few NGOs are as effective and efficient as FAN. Its small team has led the charge to end fluoridation and will continue to do so with your help!

Donate Today!

National Vaccine Information Center Is Your Ally against Draconian Vaccine Laws

“Moving numbers around in a computer is a poor substitute for actually proving an experimental vaccine does not kill and injure real human beings before it’s licensed.”  – Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-Founder of National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC)

When it comes to fighting for your right to know, and freedom to choose whether you or your child will get multiple doses of 16 vaccines doctors recommend or the government mandates, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is without equal in the public defense of the legal right to make informed, voluntary vaccine decisions in America. In the video above, Barbara Loe Fisher from NVIC discusses the integrity of the vaccine licensing process which is comprising vaccine safety.

The human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking, including use of pharmaceutical products like vaccines that carry a risk of injury or death, is the definition of liberty and forced vaccination is a form of tyranny.

Today, there is no greater threat to liberty in America than the government-enforced use of pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines, sold for profit by corporations that have no financial or legal liability and accountability whatsoever for harm caused by those products. Across America today, citizens are being treated by a Pharma-led forced vaccination lobby that is pressuring state legislatures to pass laws that violate the civil right to a school education and employment when citizens refuse to give up their human right to exercise informed consent to vaccine risk taking.

The speed at which these rights are being removed is now approaching new records. In California, it took just six months for politically powerful lobbyists to gut human and civil rights in that state. This was done by enacting a new law (SB 277), signed by Governor Jerry Brown on June 29, 2015, which denies parents the legal right to file a personal belief exemption to vaccination for religious and conscientious beliefs so their children can attend school.

During the six months the bill made its way through the legislative process, many new grassroots groups focusing on health and medical freedom issues were formed in California, with a common goal of opposing SB 277. A longtime Sacramento lobbyist commented that the thousands of citizens flooding the state Capitol to testify and attending protest rallies opposing the bill had not been seen since the Vietnam War.

Yet it wasn’t enough. If only eight more Assembly members or six more Senators had voted against the bill, it would have failed.

In other states, families were successful in defending their informed consent and civil rights. More than 100 bills aimed at restricting or eliminating non-medical vaccine exemptions or adding more vaccines to mandates for school attendance were introduced in multiple states this year and the majority of them failed. In Texas alone, 20 vaccine-related bills were defeated. Bills were also successfully blocked in Washington, Oregon, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maine, and other states.

But make no mistake about it: what happened in California in 2015 is America’s final wake-up call. NVIC predicts that forced vaccination bills seeking to eliminate all non-medical vaccine exemptions are going to be introduced again in 2016 in states that defeated those bills last year. The forced vaccination lobby is determined to eliminate all non-medical vaccine exemptions in every state, leaving only a very restrictive medical vaccine exemption that is denied to 99.99 percent of Americans under federal guidelines.

It is also becoming clearer that forced vaccination laws will not just be limited to children. The National Adult Immunization Plan is targeting all adults for mandatory use of federally recommended vaccines as well. We strongly support the legal right for all Americans to make informed, voluntary vaccine choices, and one way of helping promote this fundamental human right is by supporting NVIC’s vaccine education and choice advocacy programs and national public awareness campaigns.

Founded in 1982, NVIC is the oldest and largest consumer-led vaccine risk awareness and informed choice organization in the U.S. and has a long, responsible public record of effective grassroots advocacy.

So please get involved in protecting vaccine choices and sign up for the free online NVIC Advocacy Portal to be put it electronic contact with your elected officials, so you can educate them about protecting the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking and the civil right to a school education, medical care, and employment. Also consider making NVIC one of your favorite charities so they can continue and expand the scope of their life saving work.

Donate Now

Be an Activist for Human Rights to Clean Water, Healthy Food, and Informed Consent to Medical Risk Taking

It has always been my goal to proactively help preserve and enhance the health of our global community. But I can’t do it alone. None of us can. That is why I chose to partner with select health and research organizations that are leading the charge, and leading effectively, acting as advocates and educators for the global good.

I hope you’ll pick up the baton too and get involved with one or more of these important organizations. They all need our support. Also know that whenever you make a purchase from Mercola.com, you are providing a revenue stream to continue supporting all of these organizations and issues.

We view the promotion of valuable health information as our social responsibility – it is a mission that we will never cease to fulfill. Together, with your help, we have made it easier for millions to make truly informed health choices. In addition to our Health Liberty partners, we also provide support to:

Food Democracy Now! Rabies Challenge Fund
Center for Nutrition Advocacy CATIS-Mexico.org
Cornucopia Institute American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation (AHVMF)
Vitamin D Council

Join Us in Celebrating Our 18 Year Anniversary

From August 23rd – 29th, I am celebrating the 18 year anniversary of Mercola.com. To commemorate this event, we’ve put together an anniversary lineup that you won’t want to miss. All of the content is absolutely free for all Mercola.com subscribers so if you’re not subscribed, please take a moment to do so.

By enrolling now, during our 1 week celebration you’ll gain exclusive access to:

  • Product Giveaways
  • Educational Training
  • Live Webinars
  • Rare Presentations
  • A Never-Before-Seen Documentary
  • Fun Surprises
  • And Much Much More!

It’s not too late to RSVP; join now to be a part of this spectacular celebration!

Sources and References

 

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Change the Game by Taking Control of Your Health

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By Dr. Mercola

This website was created 18 years ago, in 1997, when I combined my two primary passions in life – health and technology – and made it my mission to share exciting new developments in natural health with a wider audience.

Thanks to you, this site has become the most visited natural health website in the world for the last 11 years.

Because of your loyal support, we’ve slowly but surely awakened the world to the false promises of the fatally flawed conventional medical view, which claims disease is best treated with drugs, and that the government knows what’s best for your health and should be allowed to dictate your health options.

In this never previously released video that was just recently completed, I discuss my own journey toward health, which ultimately led me to my present day philosophies and recommendations.

Learning Through Experience

Experience is a formidable teacher, and much of what I’m teaching today grew out of the lessons I learned as I tried to get healthier. I made plenty of mistakes, and fell for many of the lies, deceptions, and confusion of conventional medicine.

Like so many others, I grew up eating cereal for breakfast, and I fully believed margarine was healthy. My diet was high in carbs and sugars and low in fat, and there’s little doubt this played a significant role in dental decay, which I struggled with throughout a large portion of my life.

By the time I was an adult, I had a mouth full of amalgam fillings. Eventually, I discovered the truth about amalgam — that it’s actually 50 percent mercury — and in 2009, I approached Charlie Brown (president of the Alliance for Mercury Free Dentistry) at a Health Freedom Expo in Chicago.

At that event, I offered to partner with him to raise awareness about mercury in dentistry and to help get this toxin out of dentistry for good.

It’s been a highly successful partnership, and on October 10, 2013, a legally binding international treaty to control the use of this toxic metal was signed into action, thanks largely to the work of The Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry, the project organized and led by Charlie Brown.

The treaty, named the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury, requires the phasing out of many mercury-containing products by 2020.

Importantly, the treaty marks the beginning of the end for dental amalgam around the world, as it mandates each nation phase down amalgam use, effective immediately.

Since then, I’ve partnered with a number of select health and research organizations that are true health advocates and educators, including GrassrootsHealth, Fluoride Action Network, National Vaccine Information Center, Institute for Responsible Technology, and the Organic Consumers Association.

Together, we’ve formed a nonprofit coalition known as Health Liberty, dedicated to improving fundamental education to all on important health, food safety, and informed consent issues.

A Lifelong Passion for Exercise Got Me into Medicine

My mother instilled in me a passion for reading. In 1968 I picked up Dr. Ken Cooper’s book, Aerobics, which sparked a lifelong passion for exercise as I have been exercising regularly for the last 47 years, never taking more than a few days off at any one time.

Dr. Cooper actually designed the exercise program for the NASA astronauts, but aside from keeping astronauts fit in an anti-gravity environment, exercise wasn’t viewed very favorably down here on Earth.

When I first took up running, people would throw things at me because they thought I was some kind of hooligan or criminal running from the scene of a crime! People simply did not run “for no reason” back in the ‘60s.

I was a freshman in high school when the first man landed on the moon. Along with the rest of the nation, this event captured my attention, and I decided I wanted to be an astronaut. The quickest way to do that was to join the Air Force Academy.

Unfortunately, it was tough getting a congressional appointment to get in, so in the meantime, I continued my education, focusing on engineering. I later switched to pre-med — in large part because I was so excited about exercise and health. At the very beginning of med school, one of my professors told our class that by the time we graduate, most of what we were being taught would be outdated or obsolete.

The key element of our education was really teaching us how to learn, and that has stuck with me ever since — I never reached a point where I thought I know it all and don’t need to learn any more. In essence, med school taught me how to become a perpetual student, and that attitude has served me well. Unfortunately, most doctors ignore that message and get stuck practicing what in essence is outdated medicine.

Nutrition as Medicine

Conventional medicine is excellent at diagnosing disease, but where it fails miserably is in the treatment approaches. It typically focuses on treating the symptoms, not the root cause, and it does so using toxic drugs that frequently cause problems that are more dangerous than the original complaint.

The discovery of nutrition as a method of healing was nothing short of revolutionary for me. It really opened my eyes and gave me a whole different perspective on health and healing. I began scouring the medical and lay literature on nutrition, and started attending conferences on alternative healing modalities, typically every month, to acquire the knowledge and skills to help people heal.

I would then apply what I’d learned in my medical practice and get tremendous results — so much so I finally reached the point where I said, “This stuff really works!” and with that, I made a commitment to practice medicine without drugs. When I notified my patients of this new direction, 70 percent of them left. They were unwilling to quit using the drugs they were on and to address their health problems with nutrition and other lifestyle changes.

This turned out to be a blessing, as the patients I had left really wanted to get better and were willing to do the work. Eventually, word spread about their healing successes, and over the years I ended up treating patients from all over the world.

Staying Ahead of the Curve…

Over the past 18 years, I’ve often been among the first in the media to communicate common-sense strategies of healing and staying well naturally to the wider audience. The truth is, your body has an innate ability to heal. It is designed to move toward health and away from disease — provided you give it the basic support it needs in terms of nutrition, physical movement, exposure to sunlight, etc.

For example, I began talking about the importance of vitamin D for health beyond rickets back in 2000, and have warned people about the adverse effects of shunning sun exposure ever for over 15 years. Thankfully the medical literature has now firmly established that vitamin D is essential for health, and that deficiency plays a role in dozens of chronic diseases.

Fifteen years ago I also began blowing the whistle on genetically engineered (GE) foods, warning people to avoid them in order to protect their health. Now, the public discussion about GE foods has finally been brought to the fore, and grassroots efforts have led to ballot initiatives to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in dozens of states, with major media outlets like National Geographic reporting that genetically engineered foods are a dangerous fraud.

Nearly 15-Year Long Fight Against Mercury and Fluoride Continues

In 1998, I warned my readers to avoid dentists who still use mercury amalgams in their practice, having learned that painful lesson myself. Amalgams really have no place in modern dentistry. It’s an antiquated practice, and it simply makes no sense to place a known neurotoxin inches away from your brain. As noted earlier, the international treaty on mercury now heralds the beginning of the end of mercury in dentistry.

Also in 1998, I began writing about the hazards of water fluoridation, pointing out that fluoride is a toxic drug that accumulates in your body and can destroy human enzymes. Since then, the evidence against fluoride as a panacea for dental caries has only gotten stronger, and the fight to get fluoride out of municipal water supplies continues. Here, we’re partnered with the Fluoride Action Network, which is intent (as am I) to eliminate fluoride from drinking water not just in the US, but around the world.

As all of these examples show, it usually takes a decade or more to reverse deeply ingrained medical myths, no matter how unscientific their basis. But eventually, the truth does tend to prevail, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before water fluoridation is seen for what it really is — one of the biggest public health blunders in US history, opposed to being one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20st century…

Earlier this year, the US government finally admitted Americans have been overexposed to fluoride, and for the first time since 1962 lowered the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water. It’s not enough, but it’s a move in the right direction. I’ve also begun working with an organization in Mexico that is developing a low-tech fluoride removal system that even poorer rural communities will be able to use to make their drinking water safer.

Early Warnings Issued — Years in Advance

In 2006, I began warning about the artificial sweetener aspartame, convinced it was one of the most dangerous additives in the food supply. Since then, the medical literature has become filled with studies demonstrating its harmful effects. Not only do artificial sweeteners actually promote obesity, they also worsen diabetes, and it’s fraught with side effects. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more health complaints stemming from aspartame than ALL other food additives combined.

I was the first in the media to issue a stern warning against Vioxx. In 1999 I uncovered a study that showed people taking this drug were at massively increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, and I published this information in my newsletter. I actually issued the first public warning about Vioxx while it was still in clinical trials — a year before it became available by prescription. I predicted Vioxx would be pulled from the market once the increased cardiac deaths are finally recognized, and indeed, that’s exactly what happened. But not before more than 60,000 people had died from taking the blockbuster drug…

Take Control of Your Health, for Life!

I would encourage anyone who feels skeptical to really evaluate the evidence and put some of these healthy lifestyle principles to the test; because the ultimate proof for most people is their own experience. It either works or it doesn’t.  You feel better and get healthier, or you don’t.  My mantra is “Take Control of Your Health,” and my goal is to teach you how to get off the merry-go-round of drugs, which typically treat only the symptoms while actually deteriorating your health.

Drugs can also be lethal, and even when properly prescribed and administered they kill hundreds of thousands of people each year. My message is: there are safer, less expensive alternatives that can truly address the root cause of your disease. Invariably, reclaiming health and treating disease involves addressing your diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors, most of which cost little or nothing.

 

 

Join Us in Celebrating Our 18 Year Anniversary

From August 23rd – 29th, I am celebrating the 18 year anniversary of Mercola.com. To commemorate this event, we’ve put together an anniversary lineup that you won’t want to miss. All of the content is absolutely free for all Mercola.com subscribers so if you’re not subscribed, please take a moment to do so.

By enrolling now, during our 1 week celebration you’ll gain exclusive access to:

  • Product Giveaways
  • Educational Training
  • Live Webinars
  • Rare Presentations
  • A Never-Before-Seen Documentary
  • Fun Surprises
  • And Much Much More!

It’s not too late to RSVP; join now to be a part of this spectacular celebration!

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Effortless Healing Guidelines for Friends and Family New to Natural Healing

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By Dr. Mercola

In this video, originally aired on public television earlier this year, I highlight some of the foundational basics of effortless healing. Effortless Healing is also the name of my latest book, in which I compiled the best of the expert information I’ve learned and shared on this website over the past two decades.

For those of you who missed the book, this article will provide some basic guidance on simple and inexpensive ways to improve your health.

Contrary to the impression you get when listening to the drug advertisements on TV, your body is by nature designed to move toward health, and away from disease.

But to do so you need to provide it with the right lifestyle ingredients it needs to heal and thrive. And drugs are not on that list. The simple truth is, most disease is rooted in poor nutrition and lack of physical activity.

Unfortunately, most physicians are taught very little about the use of food for healing when they’re in medical school, and many never take the time to learn even the most basic nutritional principles.

This is why most conventional doctors cannot guide you in nutritional healing, and why many are outright suspicious about claims that food can heal.

Exercise is another critical component of health, and studies have shown exercise to be as effective a treatment as many drugs, includingantidepressants and medications for prediabetes and heart disease.

Statistically, Sickness Is More Prevalent Than Wellness

Statistically speaking, you’re far more likely to be some level of sick than you are being healthy. For starters, nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug for a chronic or other medical condition, with antibiotics, antidepressants, and opioids topping the list.

Other signs indicating that sickness has become is the prevailing norm include the following statistics:

  • Obesity rates are on the rise, and one in five deaths is now linked to obesity.
  • We are in the midst of a worldwide diabetes epidemic. In the US, more than 86 million adults age 20 and over have prediabetes.1

Of that number, nearly 30 million already have type 2 diabetes — a statistic researchers predicted in 2001 wouldn’t be reached until 2050.2

Diabetes has increased over 300 percent in just 15 years,3 and all told, nearly ONE-THIRD of the 320 million people living in America today have either prediabetes or some form of diabetes.4

  • One in eight Americans aged 65 and over currently have Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to rise to one in four within the next 20 years.

At present, more than half a million Americans die from Alzheimer’s disease each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.

  • Cancer rates are projected to rise 57 percent in the next 20 years, with 13 million people dying from cancer each year.
  • Over half of the US population has at least one clinically diagnosable allergy, and allergies and diseases of the immune system have possibly quadrupled in the last few decades.

What’s Really Making You Sick?

Once you become familiar with the ins and outs of nutrition, you begin to realize that virtually every health problem you can think of can be traced back to the diet.

One of the reasons why so many diseases are skyrocketing in prevalence is because of the foods we eat. Most Americans eat a predominantly processed food diet, which virtually guarantees you’ll suffer health problems at some point.

In short, one of the simplest health directives you could ever come across is to just EAT REAL FOOD (whole, unadulterated/unprocessed, and ideally organic), as this automatically eliminates a number of health-harming ingredients from your diet.

Public enemy number one is sugar (all kinds, but in particular refined sugar and processed fructose such as high fructose corn syrup), followed closely by refined grains, as these ingredients cause your insulin level to spike.

Insulin allows your cells to use sugar, but when you eat too much sugar your cells eventually become resistant to the insulin. Insulin resistance, in turn, leads to diabetes and a long list of related health problems and disease.

When you’re insulin resistant, your body will also store rather than burn fat.

As a result, it becomes exceedingly difficult for your body to use stored body fat for energy, and hence weight gain is typically associated with insulin resistance. This is why sugars and grain carbohydrates need to be avoided, as they not only can make you fat, they can make you stay fat. If your fasting insulin level is over 3 or 4, you’re insulin resistant. Other signs and symptoms indicating you fall squarely into this category include:

Carrying excess weight High blood pressure
Fasting blood sugar greater than 100 (You may be diagnosed with prediabetes if your glucose is between 100 and 125.  Having prediabetes is a risk factor that you may get type 2 diabetes in the future) Less-than-ideal cholesterol ratios
Type 2 diabetes Heart disease or cancer

How to Reverse Insulin Resistance

The good news is you can turn insulin resistance around fairly quickly and easily, by following these simple steps:

  • Eliminate added sugars and sweeteners from your diet. Keep in mind that most processed foods (anything that comes in a jar, can, bottle, bag, or box) contain added sugars, typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

Fruit juices are also loaded with sugar, so replace them with whole fruit instead. And don’t make the mistake of switching to artificially sweetened “diet” foods and beverages. Research has clearly shown that artificial sweeteners promote insulin resistance and related health problems just like regular sugar does — despite their lack of calories.

The artificial sweeteners saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame decrease function in pathways associated with the transport of sugar in your body, and can induce both gut dysbiosis and glucose intolerance. Research also shows that artificial sweeteners promote diabetes and weight gain is by disrupting your gut microbiome. Sucralose (Splenda) was found to reduce beneficial gut bacteria by as much as 50 percent!

  • Eliminate grains, especially wheat, barley, oats, and rye, as these not only raise your insulin and contribute to insulin resistance, they also contain gluten, which triggers inflammation and can damage your intestines.

Better alternatives include almond meal, buckwheat groats, coconut flour, and sweet potatoes, as they do not have the same impact on your blood sugar as grains, but if you’re truly insulin resistant, or already diabetic, even these alternatives will hamper your body’s ability to heal. Once the clinical signs of insulin resistance have resolved, you can relax your carb restriction

  • Replace eliminated carbs with healthy fats like avocado, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, cheese, raw dairy, organic pastured egg yolks, raw nuts, grass-fed meats, and coconut oil.

Sitting Takes a Profound Toll on Your Health

More than 10,000 studies now show that prolonged sitting is devastating to your health. It actively and independently promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, even if you exercise several times a week and are very fit. The sad truth is, you cannot offset 8 to 10 hours of stillness with 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, even if you exercise every single day.

The reason for this is because, at the molecular level, the human body was designed to be active all day long. When you stop moving and sit still for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body to shut down and prepare for death. As soon as you stand up, a number of molecular cascades occur that promote and support healthy biological functioning.

For example, within 90 seconds of standing up, the muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol — which are mediated by insulin — are activated.  Surprising as it may sound, all of these molecular effects are activated simply by carrying your bodyweight upon your legs. These cellular mechanisms are also responsible for pushing fuels into your cells and, if done regularly, will radically decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity.

So, the remedy is simple: Avoid sitting and get more movement into your life. Ideally, aim to sit less than three hours a day. Also consider walking more, in addition to your exercise regimen. In short, rest is supposed to break up activity — not the other way around. This kind of non-exercise physical movement appears to be really foundational for optimal health, and if you’re currently inactive, this is the place to start, even before you get going on a workout routine.

Effortless Healing Is Possible

In my new NY Times bestselling book, Effortless Healing, I’ve distilled my decades of experience and knowledge of nutritional healing down to nine simple principles that will help you optimize your weight and health by making small, gradual shifts in what you eat and how you live your life. Health is actually not as complicated to obtain and maintain as you might think. It’s really all about distilling it down to the basics, which is what I’ve done in this new book.

It’s a source of timeless advice that can help you take control of your health. One thing’s for sure; your body is remarkably efficient when it comes to healing and regenerating itself, provided you feed it and care for it properly. Besides food, which can rightfully be viewed as medicine, you also need physical activity — both non-exercise movement and more regimented, higher-intensity exercise.

Other healthy lifestyle components include getting sensible sun exposure, and grounding to the Earth. These are lifestyle habits with potent health-promoting potential that cost little to nothing. The same can surely not be said for prescription drugs and conventional medical treatments, so it seems foolish to forgo them.

 

Join Us in Celebrating Our 18 Year Anniversary

From August 23rd – 29th, I am celebrating the 18 year anniversary of Mercola.com. To commemorate this event, we’ve put together an anniversary lineup that you won’t want to miss. All of the content is absolutely free for all Mercola.com subscribers so if you’re not subscribed, please take a moment to do so.

By enrolling now, during our 1 week celebration you’ll gain exclusive access to:

  • Product Giveaways
  • Educational Training
  • Live Webinars
  • Rare Presentations
  • A Never-Before-Seen Documentary
  • Fun Surprises
  • And Much Much More!

It’s not too late to RSVP; join now to be a part of this spectacular celebration!

 

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How Hearing Works

Source

By Dr. Mercola

It’s easy to take your hearing for granted, but the complex process that occurs when your ears pick up a sound and translate it into information your brain can understand is truly remarkable.

Interestingly, while some of your senses, like your sense of smell, vision, and taste, involve chemical reactions, your ability to hear does not. Instead, physical movements are responsible for your ability to hear.

How Hearing Works

Your ears capture sound traveling through the air as vibrations in air pressure. The outer part of your ear, or pinna, catches the sound waves first. The structure of your outer ear bounce sounds in different patterns depending on whether they come from behind you, above you or below you.

Your brain learns to recognize these distinctive patterns to alert you, first, wherea sound is coming from. Your brain can also determine whether the sound is coming from the left or right depending on which ear it arrives at first. As noted by How Stuff Works:1

Many mammals, such as dogs, have large, movable pinnae that let them focus on sounds from a particular direction. Human pinnae are not so adept at focusing on sound. They lay fairly flat against the head and don’t have the necessary muscles for significant movement.

But you can easily supplement your natural pinnae by cupping your hands behind your ears. By doing this, you create a larger surface area that can capture sound waves better.”

Your Fascinating Eardrum

Once sound waves pass your outer ear, they enter your ear canal and trigger vibrations to your eardrum, a thin piece of skin that sits between the ear canal and your middle ear.

Your eardrum vibrates faster from high-pitch sounds while loud sounds move your eardrum back-and-forth a greater distance. But it’s far from simply a passive part of the hearing process.

When your eardrum detects prolonged exposure to loud noises, for instance, a reflex occurs that makes your eardrum more rigid, meaning it essentially dampens the noise to protect your hearing.

This same reflex kicks in when you’re having a conversation in a noisy room, helping you to hear higher-pitched sounds while making the lower-pitched ones. The reflex also occurs when you speak so that the sound of your own voice doesn’t overtake all the other sounds around you.2

Once sound waves vibrate your eardrum, it moves a group of tiny bones in your middle ear called the malleus, the incus, and the stapes.

Collectively known as the ossicles, these are the smallest bones in your body, but they have a very important job – amplifying the force from your eardrum so the sound information can be passed on to your inner ear.

Sound in Your Inner Ear

The amplified vibrations from your eardrum travel to the cochlea in your inner ear, which conducts sound through fluid (instead of through air, as it done in your outer ear). It’s here that the sounds are translated into nerve impulses that your brain can recognize and understand as distinct sounds. According to How Stuff Works:3

“The cochlea structure consists of three adjacent tubes separated from each other by sensitive membranes… The stapes moves back and forth, creating pressure waves in the entire cochlea.

The round window membrane separating the cochlea from the middle ear gives the fluid somewhere to go. It moves out when the stapes pushes in and moves in when the stapes pulls out.

The middle membrane, the basilar membrane, is a rigid surface that extends across the length of the cochlea. When the stapes moves in and out, it pushes and pulls on the part of the basilar membrane just below the oval window.

This force starts a wave moving along the surface of the membrane. The wave travels something like ripples along the surface of a pond, moving from the oval window down to the other end of the cochlea.

The basilar membrane has a peculiar structure. It’s made of 20,000 to 30,000 reed-like fibers that extend across the width of the cochlea. Near the oval window, the fibers are short and stiff. As you move toward the other end of the tubes, the fibers get longer and more limber.

This gives the fibers different resonant frequencies… Because of the increasing length and decreasing rigidity of the fibers, higher-frequency waves vibrate the fibers closer to the oval window, and lower frequency waves vibrate the fibers at the other end of the membrane.”

Your Brain Does the Final Interpreting

When a wave reaches fibers with a resonant frequency, it releases a burst of energy that then moves tiny hair cells found in the organ of corti, a structure that stretches across the length of the cochlea.

The movement from the hair cells sends an electrical impulse through the cochlear nerve, which in turn transmits the information to the cerebral cortex in your brain for interpretation. Yet, even with all that is known about hearing, there is much yet to be discovered. How Stuff Worksreported:4

“The cochlea only sends raw data – complex patterns of electrical impulses. The brain is like a central computer, taking this input and making some sense of it all. This is an extraordinarily complex operation, and scientists are still a long way from understanding everything about it.

In fact, hearing in general is still very mysterious to us. The basic concepts at work in human and animal ears are fairly simple, but the specific structures are extremely complex. Scientists are making rapid advancements, however, and they discover new hearing elements every year.

It’s astonishing how much is involved in the hearing process, and it’s even more amazing that all these processes take place in such a small area of the body.”

Why It’s Important to Protect Your Ears from Excessive Noise

Your ears are designed to take in sounds, and the eardrum even has some built-in protections against excessively loud prolonged noises. However, exposure to excessive noise can still be damaging to your health and hearing. In the US it’s estimated that 100 million people are exposed to unhealthy levels of noise, typically from automobile and aircraft traffic (although everything from leaf blowers and lawnmowers to loud music can also contribute).5

Noise pollution may increase your risk of hearing loss, but it goes much further than that. Stress, sleep disturbances, diminished productivity, and even heart disease can also result.

One of the key ways excessive noise harms your heart is by elevating stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, which, over time, can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure.

One review of research showed that “arousal associated with nighttime noise exposure increased blood and saliva concentrations of these hormones even during sleep.”6 And according to research published in Environmental Health Perspectives, long-term exposure to traffic noise may account for approximately 3 percent of coronary heart disease deaths (or about 210,000 deaths) in Europe each year.7

Research also suggests long-term exposure to noise pollution may have an affect on cognitive development in children and cognitive and psychological functions in adults, although more research is needed in this area.8 One study of traffic wardens in Pakistan found significant physio-psychological effects due to traffic noise pollution, including:9

Aggravated depression: 58% Stress: 65% Public conflict: 71%
Irritation and annoyance: 54% Behavioral affects: 59% Speech interference: 56%.
Hypertension: 87% Muscle tension: 64% Exhaustion: 48%
Low performance levels: 55% Concentration loss: 93% Hearing impairment: 69%
Headache: 74% Cardiovascular issue: 71%

What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Hearing?

Minimizing your exposure to excessive noise is important. If you live in a very noisy area, such as near a highway or airport, you may want to consider moving. If that is not an option, consider adding acoustical tile to your ceiling and walls to buffer the noise. Double-paneled windows and insulation can also help. At the very least, you can sound-treat your home by adding heavy curtains to your windows, rugs to your floors, and sealing air leaks. If noise is only an issue occasionally, sound-blocking headphones can eliminate such disturbances.

If noise is an issue during the night, you may want to consider adding pink noise to your bedroom. Pink noise is steady with a consistent frequency, like the sound of wind or constant rain. Research shows that steady pink noise can help slow down and regulate your brainwaves for more stable sleep and improved sleep quality.10 While pink noise CDs are available, you can also simply turn on a fan in your bedroom to block out noise disturbances and instead take advantage of this beneficial type of pink noise.

If you work in a noisy environment, be sure you are wearing ear protection at all times, and leave the site as often as possible, such as during breaks and lunch. Also be cognizant of noise exposures during your leisure time, such as that from motorcycles, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and even loud music and television. Wear ear protection when using your lawnmower, for instance, and try to make less noise when you can, not only for your own sake but also for the sake of those around you.

If You’re Having Trouble Hearing, It Could Be Due to a Buildup of THIS…

Partial loss of hearing, a sensation your ears are plugged, or a feeling of fullness in your ears can all be indicative of an excess of earwax buildup that needs attention. To be clear, earwax is a substance that’s meant to be in your ears. It aids in your ears’ self-cleaning process, providing protection, lubrication, and antibacterial properties.

In most cases, your ear canals should not have to be cleaned out (with a cotton swab or otherwise), as they’re a self-cleaning part of your body. Excess earwax should move out of your ear canal automatically, as cells there actually migrate naturally. The removal of earwax is also helped along by movements of your jaw (talking, chewing, etc.), and once it reaches your outer ear it will simply fall out or be removed when you shower or bathe.

Using a cotton swab to clean your ears can actually push earwax deep into your ear where it doesn’t belong, blocking your ear canal, and leading to hearing loss. That being said, if you have the symptoms mentioned above, earwax buildup could be to blame. In one study, when impacted earwax was removed in the elderly, hearing improved significantly, as did the participants’ cognitive function (which was being affected by their lessened hearing).11 An ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, or otolaryngologist, can remove earwax using a special suction, miniature instruments and a microscope.

If your eardrum is perforated, manual removal by a physician is recommended, however in most other cases you can clear earwax blockages at home.

The simplest way to do this is to first soften the wax by placing a few drops of olive oil, coconut oil, or water in your ear. Then, pour a capful of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide in each ear to flush the wax out. It’s worth noting that using plain sterile water, or a sterile saline solution, to soften earwax works just as well as oil or over-the-counter eardrops. You will also want to be sure to increase your intake of omega-3 fats, as frequent excess buildup of earwax can oftentimes be traced back to an omega-3 deficiency.

Help Support Mercury-Free Dentistry

From August 16th to 23rd we launch the fifth Mercury-Free Dentistry Week. Mercury is an incredibly potent neurotoxin; it doesn’t take much to cause serious damage because it’s an absolute poison

We believe in inspiring progress — and nowhere is the progress more evident than the work of Consumers for Dental Choice and its Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry.

The sole mission of Consumers for Dental Choice is to end the use of mercury fillings. In the year ahead, with your help, Consumers for Dental Choice will continue to fight to break down any barriers necessary so all consumers have access to mercury-free dentistry.

Resources to Help You Find a Biological Dentist

The following organizations can help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:

Let’s Help Consumers for Dental Choice Get the Funding They Deserve

Consumers for Dental Choice and its team have made amazing progress toward mercury-free dentistry. But there’s still hard work ahead as Consumers for Dental Choice is now breaking barriers which limit consumer access to mercury-free dentistry, forcing federal and state government agencies to be accountable, and organizing briefings for governments around the world.

You can help stop dental mercury today! Please consider donating to Consumers for Dental Choice, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating mercury-free dentistry.

Donate Today!

 

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